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Challenge accepted: Tommy Fleetwood out to ruin Shane Lowry’s big day

Tommy Fleetwood is looking to prevent the biggest golfing party ever seen on the Emerald Isle from exploding into life at Royal Portrush on Sunday. Fleetwood is the only player who can realistically stop Ireland’s Shane Lowry from winning the British Open. The 28-year-old Fleetwood is four shots behind Lowry and will play in the last group on the final day for the first time at a major. Fleetwood shot 5-under 66.

Tim Dahlberg: Even 7 shots back, Brooks Koepka is lurking at Open

Brooks Koepka doesn’t need to reach too far back in the memory bank to know how precarious a big lead can be. He nearly gave away his last major just two months ago after leading by seven shots going into the final round of the PGA Championship.

Lee Westwood has up-and-down round at British Open

Lee Westwood’s relaxed approach to the British Open had its ups and downs. He moved up to the top of leaderboard on the front nine and down a rabbit hole on the back. The 46-year-old Englishman birdied three of the first four holes at Royal Portrush to briefly stand alone as the leader. But he plugged a ball on the 10th hole and then added another bogey to finish the third round eight shots behind leader Shane Lowry.

Shane Lowry builds 4-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood in British Open

The cheers grew louder and Shane Lowry kept getting better in the British Open. He made two straight birdies around the turn at Royal Portrush to break out of a four-way tie for the lead. He made three straight birdies at the end of his round. He finished with a 63 and a four-shot lead over Tommy Fleetwood.

Rory McIlroy’s salvage operation falls just short at British Open

Rory McIlroy fell just short in his quest to make the cut at the British Open at Royal Portrush. The Northern Irishman produced a 6-under 65 that will live long in the memory. McIlroy struggled to hold back the tears in his post-round interviews. He felt he connected with his fellow natives who so rarely see Northern Ireland’s most famous active sportsman in the flesh.

Tim Dahlberg: Another missed cut for Tiger Woods, who’s not 23 anymore

So now we know. Tiger Woods isn’t done, no matter what it looked like on his slog through the only two rounds he’ll play in this British Open. He’s also not in danger of being put in traction anytime soon, no matter how many times he is asked about his surgically repaired back. He’s just not 23 anymore. And that may be the worst part of being a superstar in any sport.

‘I literally don’t care’: Lee Westwood back in mix at the majors

Lee Westwood is back for another shot at erasing his “nearly man” tag in the majors. The 46-year-old Englishman is on the leaderboard at his 25th British Open after shooting a bogey-free 4-under 67 in the second round to get to 7 under. Westwood has 18 top-10 finishes in his 81 appearances in the majors. Westwood says of his chances: “I literally don’t care anymore.” It is the first major that Westwood’s girlfriend is his caddie.

Shane Lowry, J.B. Holmes share British Open lead as Rory McIlroy leaves with cheers

Everyone in the massive grandstand rose to cheer and celebrate a bold performance by Rory McIlroy. It was the support and affection he longed for on his walk toward his final hole at Royal Portrush in the British Open. Except this was only Friday. McIlroy narrowly missed the cut as J.B. Holmes and Shane Lowry share the lead.

Jordan Spieth back to playing some good golf at British Open

Jordan Spieth knows he can win the big ones. Perhaps that’s why he saves his best golf for them. The three-time major winner moved his name up the leaderboard at the British Open with a superb four-hole run near the end of the front nine. He birdied the fifth and sixth, then eagled the seventh and birdied the eighth. He ended up with a 4-under 67 in the second round at Royal Portrush to bring him to 5-under 137 overall on a mild morning on the Dunluce Links.

The usual crowd support saw an unusual score for Tiger Woods

The excitement that always surrounds Tiger Woods even brought out the hired help near the fourth hole at Royal Portrush. They couldn’t help his sore back or his soaring score at the British Open. The Masters champion shot a 7-over 78. That is his highest first-round score at the tournament and third-highest opening at any of the four biggest events in golf.

Tim Dahlberg: Rory McIlroy fizzles in home Open debut

A day Rory McIlroy had been anticipating for so long came apart almost before it began. A dreaded snowman on the first hole, a triple on the last and McIlroy shook hands with his playing partners before walking to the scoring tent to sign a card with a fat 79 at the bottom.

A bad swing, a big mistake and a 14 for David Duval at Portrush

David Duval lost a few golf balls on his own in the opening round of the British Open. It’s one that was found that brought him the wrong kind of attention with a score of 14 on one hole and a 91 when he walked off Royal Portrush. It matched the second-highest score in British Open history, behind the 15 that Herman Tissie made on the short “Postage Stamp” eighth hole at Royal Troon in 1950.

British Open back at Royal Portrush and puts on quite a show

An emotional opening shot by Darren Clarke. A shocking one by Rory McIlroy. Tiger Woods had his worst score to start a British Open. Brooks Koepka quickly got into contention again. The Open returned to Royal Portrush after 68 years and made up for lost time. J.B. Holmes had a one-shot lead after a 66.

Under-the-radar Shane Lowry moves into spotlight at British Open

Shane Lowry shot 4-under 67 and was in second place in the first round at the British Open after benefiting from coming into the tournament somewhat under the radar. The buzz among the locals at Royal Portrush has been all about Northern Irish natives Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell this week. Lowry feels at ease on the Dunluce Links having won the North of Ireland title there as an amateur in 2008.

Emotional and proud, Darren Clarke welcomes Open back to Portrush

Darren Clarke almost welled up when his name was announced to applause from the packed grandstand at No. 1 and the galleries lining the fairway before he hit the first shot at the British Open. The 50-year-old Clarke was playing at his home of Royal Portrush. He made three birdies in his first five holes and ended with an even-par 71.

Rory McIlroy knows this is not just another British Open

Rory McIlroy wants to treat this week just like any other British Open. He also knows better. The 148th Open is the first in his native Northern Ireland in 68 years, and McIlroy is the betting favorite to capture the claret jug and end his five-year drought in the majors.