Clarke, Glover hit the front

World number one Donald misses cut; Westwood in a spot of bother

Despite some players driving the ball more than 380 yards at times, helped by the dry, hard, bounding fairways, the tough terrain of the south-east coast and the hard-to-read greens kept a grip on the scoring. Briton Tom Lewis, 20, the surprise joint overnight leader at five-under with Thomas Bjorn after firing the lowest Open round ever by an amateur, found things a bit tougher in the limelight and carded a four-over 74 to slip back into the pack. Bjorn, out at lunchtime as the wind began to get up after a beautifully benign morning, had a terrible start as he dropped three shots in the first four holes but the Dane hit back with three birdies to return to his overnight score of five-under with seven to play.

Clarke, the long-time flag-bearer for Northern Irish golf, has suddenly seen himself usurped by compatriot US Open winners Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy but the rotund, cigar-smoking 42-year-old carded a second successive 68 that contained five birdies and an eagle but also three bogeys and a double-bogey.

Clarke has been playing plenty of links golf at home recently and is well-placed for another crack at winning his first major.  McDowell may not be one of them though as last year's US Open champion followed his encouraging opening 68 with a shocking seven-over 77, saying later he had lost his confidence, partly as a result of the increased level of expectation he puts on himself following his breakthrough major win. 

Pre-tournament favourite McIlroy, who shot one-over on Thursday in his first round since his US Open success last month, was among the later starters and opened with five pars before birdies at the sixth and seventh took him to one-under for the tournament.

Glover is not only leading the American challenge after a barren spell of five majors for the sport's most dominant nation, but is also in the running to become the first bearded Open champion for more than a century. After his impressive opening 66 on Friday, the 2009 US Open champion was steadier on Friday with two birdies and two bogeys before coming home with eight straight pars.

Donald misses cut

World number one Luke Donald missed the cut on Friday and second-ranked Lee Westwood was almost certain to fall by the wayside too.

Britain's Donald carded a 75 for a six-over total of 146 after a crushing finish saw him bogey the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes.  Westwood, like compatriot Donald still chasing his maiden major victory, also looks like missing the cut after returning a 73 for 144.

The cut looks likely to be made at 143.

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