Fleetwood hopes British Open will go his own way

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Tommy Fleetwood knows how big an achievement it would be if on Sunday he becomes the first Englishman in over a quarter of a century to win the British Open.

Tiger Woods made a flying start to his first British Open in three years, and Justin Thomas was also on the charge at Carnoustie.

Better yet, he didn't hurt anyone in the gallery.

However, it is looking a little less likely that this tournament will finally be the one where Tiger Woods ends his decade-long major drought.

He walked onto the first tee as rain steadily fell and whipped out his driver, unleashing a booming tee-shot to underline his strategy for the day. "Makes me feel a little bit more comfortable", he said of the taped support.

He's still well within contention for the prestigious trophy, just two shots off the lead, held by Kevin Kisner and 2015 champion Zach Johnson.

The wildest moment on a wet day in Scotland came on the second hole, when Woods hit his drive well to the right on the side of a dune. The water was shallow enough for the former Masters champion to smash through a ball rock and water to get the club on the ball and escape without further damage.

Woods isn't the first golfer to be criticised for his failure to sign autographs, however, Rory McIlroy was involved in a similar incident in his Open victory back in 2014. Four of them are among the top 11 on the leaderboard going into the weekend with Spieth and Rickie Fowler, who shot 69 and was at 3-under 139. "I've never hit an eight-iron off a par-four, and I hit an eight-iron off a par-four today". "I'd much rather be sitting here not in damp clothes and a T-shirt, but it is what it is", said McIlroy, whose good early season form tapered off with a flat performance at the Irish Open a fortnight ago.

"It (grass) grabbed the shaft and smothered it". He made another bogey on the next hole, and just like that he was on the cut line. And while Woods did miss a few inside 10 feet, he did make his fair share of testers to keep matters from falling off. Midway through the Friday round, holes 1-14 were playing a combined 257 strokes over par, while the final four holes were a combined 330 over par. With 134 yards left to the hole on top of the hill, he hit a handsome shot to set up a birdie putt from about eight feet. "If I could pick one tournament in my life to win, it would be the Open". He closed with a 74 and finished six shots behind. "It will be a pretty packed leader board, and I'm certainly right there in it".

The Northern Irishman is aiming to rectify his performance at the US Open where he missed the cut for a third straight year. Showing great touch on the green, he hit his 30-footer to within a foot and tapped in for another par to remain three shots back of the lead at 2-under.

The pin was toward the center of the green.

They were accompanied by numerous sport's biggest names as more than half the Major winners in the field were eliminated, including their U.S. compatriots Tom Lehman (+4), Bubba Watson (+6), Mark Calcavecchia (+7), Jimmy Walker (+8), Todd Hamilton (+9).