The Open Diary: Poulter wins (but it's not Ian) as wind and rain lash Birkdale

The wind and rain formed an unwelcome duo for Friday's second round at Royal Birkdale as The Open's cut mark claimed some high-profile names.

Our reporters on the ground for the 146th edition of golf's oldest major braved the elements to get the stories you might otherwise have missed in the latest daily Open diary.



The wind certainly made an impact at Birkdale on Friday and Omnisport's entry to the course was briefly delayed as a result.

An entrance tent suffered what was calmly described as "structural damage" by a grinning member of staff pressed into remedial action with several of his colleagues.

The crew swiftly removed a large wooden plank that had come loose, before again welcoming spectators and media in the warm, cheerful fashion that has been evident throughout the week.

Thankfully, the enormous media tent was able to withstand gusts that rose significantly as the day wore on.



Ian Poulter has been in relaxed mood amid his return to major contention, and his 13-year-old son Luke might have to take some of the credit.

The Englishman - who sits tied third, three shots behind leader Jordan Spieth - spoke about the joy of having his son around during the tournament and revealed the teen had played a round against John Daly's son on Thursday.

Asked how the two had fared, Poulter revealed Luke had triumphed and claimed winnings of £20, before "rubbing it in".

Questioned further on where his offspring might have learned such behaviour, a laughing Poulter replied: "I'm not sure. It must be his mother!"



After shooting the worst score of Thursday, a miserable 81, Mark O'Meara had his short game to thank as he completed a much-improved 70 in round two.

Despite failing to hit a green in regulation on the front nine, the 1998 champion at this venue turned in a level-par 34 after taking just nine putts.

O'Meara, 60, then one-putted the 10th for birdie and finished the day having used the short stick on just 23 occasions in a hugely impressive final Open outing.



Wandering around the 15th green, one Omnisport reporter happened upon a ball that looked very much like it had come to settle on a spectator pathway.

As a crowd gathered in a semi-circle around the forlorn white sphere, its owner loomed into view - it was Australian world number 1,357 Ryan McCarthy.

He didn't seem keen on playing it where it had come to rest, on what he felt was manmade path and not a natural part of the course.

In conversation with an official as he lobbied for a free drop, the 27-year-old provided a brief history lesson to make his case.

"If it's natural it was meant to be here when they built Royal Birkdale [that's 1894!] - obviously they didn't have golf carts then. This path is for motorised vehicles."

The officials weren't convinced, even when McCarthy claimed to have been given relief in a similar situation on Thursday.

And so, with some annoyance, he duffed a chip into the second cut of rough, lobbed his fourth shot well beyond the flag, putted to within two feet and tapped in for a bogey six.

He missed the cut.

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