Brooks Koepka took four weeks off after winning the U.S. Open last month, and he is pleased to be back in contention heading into the weekend at The Open.
Playing at the famed Royal Birkdale, Koepka held a share of the overnight lead and battled the wind and rain on Friday to fire a two-over 72 - seeing him slip three shots adrift of Jordan Spieth.
Though he did not record a birdie on Friday, the American was still enthused by the way he fought through the tough conditions.
"Obviously it was tough. You're not going to make many birdies today," Koepka said after his second round. "So when you get a chance, I felt like I needed to make it.
"You can't make a big number; no doubles, which I'm happy about. But I'm excited to get to play again this weekend.
"I feel like I'm playing really well. Today the putter wasn't as hot, but that happens. It's tough to make putts when you're not that close to the hole. But I felt like I only had two really good opportunities today. So keep doing what I'm doing and playing well."
Having already won a major championship this year - the first of his career - Koepka is ready for whatever the weekend brings. He would appreciate drier conditions, though.
"I think it will be interesting this weekend," he said. "I'm excited to play. And hopefully this rain goes away and we can get some good conditions."
Koepka, Spieth and Rory McIlroy, who is tied for sixth at one under, are the only players below par with major wins to their name.