THE OPEN DIARIES: Rickie Fowler teased by fans while Tom Kim battles through pain at Royal Liverpool

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THE OPEN DIARIES: Rickie Fowler is teased by fans, Tom Kim battles through the pain and past champions struggle at Royal Liverpool

  • Brian Harman advanced to take a solo five-shot lead at the Open Championship 
  • Rickie Fowler was heckled by fans over bowing out of Leeds United takeover 
  • The R&A stepped in to fill bunkers, while Tom Kim battled through a tough injury  

Royal Liverpool continued to show just how difficult this historic golf course can be with many big names struggling to make the cut at the 151st Open Championship. 

While Brian Harman advanced to take the solo lead at the tournament, going five shots clear of his closest challenger Tommy Fleetwood, several other big names including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and European Ryder Cup hopefuls Justin Rose and Shane Lowry all missed the cut on Friday. 

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World No 1 Scottie Scheffler and defending champion Cameron Smith both avoided the cut by the barest of margins, with both booking their ticket to the weekend carding a birdie and an eagle respectively on the 18th hole. 

Just Stop Oil also attempted to disrupt proceedings on Friday but were quickly stopped by Merseyside Police who arrested four activists that had tried to trespass on the golf course and spread confetti on the 17th hole. 

Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman was at Royal Liverpool and has all the things you might have missed from a day that was filled with plenty of drama.  

Brian Harman (pictured) advanced to take the solo lead five shots ahead of Tommy Fleetwood at -5 on day two of the Open Championship

Brian Harman (pictured) advanced to take the solo lead five shots ahead of Tommy Fleetwood at -5 on day two of the Open Championship

Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson (pictured) missed the cut after going nine-over par through 36 holes

Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson (pictured) missed the cut after going nine-over par through 36 holes

World No 1 Scottie Scheffler (pictured) narrowly avoided the cut after carding a birdie on 18

World No 1 Scottie Scheffler (pictured) narrowly avoided the cut after carding a birdie on 18

‘An awful design’ 

The 17th hole continues to be centre of attention and after finding his ball in the scrub back-left of the green, Richie Ramsay was quick to declare it ‘just an awful, awful design’. Asked about it, he said: ‘I’ll stand by what I said, but I’m not going to expand on it because the members here have been very good to me.’ 

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Course marshals bring the style 

Marshals down the 12th hole win the week’s style awards for their natty blue, green, red and yellow socks. The colours of Royal Birkdale, they are being worn by the 40 members from further up the coast helping out this week. What’s more, they are raising money for a Southport hospital while they are here. Bravo.

Patrons tease Fowler 

Rickie Fowler’s decision not to join friends Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in part-funding the Leeds United takeover has led to a few heckles from beyond the ropes. ‘One guy called me a coward,’ said Fowler. ‘Maybe he should put up his own money.’ 

The R&A step in to fill up bunkers 

Following complaints, the R&A decided to front-fill the bunkers for Friday’s play which, in theory, would lead to fewer balls being left up against the face of the hazards. There is no truth in the rumour your diarist contacted his own club to ask if they would consider making the holes bigger. 

The 17th hole at Royal Liverpool has received criticism this week for its design and was also invaded by Just Stop Oil protestors

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The 17th hole at Royal Liverpool has received criticism this week for its design and was also invaded by Just Stop Oil protestors

Rickie Fowler (pictured) was heckled by patrons at Hoylake after he backed out of joining Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth from becoming a part-owner in Leeds United football club

Rickie Fowler (pictured) was heckled by patrons at Hoylake after he backed out of joining Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth from becoming a part-owner in Leeds United football club

Meanwhile, Tom Kim (pictured) soldiered through a painful ankle ligament injury to card a 68

Meanwhile, Tom Kim (pictured) soldiered through a painful ankle ligament injury to card a 68

Tom Kim battles through the pain 

Tom Kim shot a 68 on Friday, an impressive feat playing on one leg. Kim tore an ankle ligament slipping on grass at his rental home on Thursday and almost withdrew. But painkillers and adrenalin got him through, even though he was limping. 

‘My team just told me to suck it up and play,’ he said. 

Open champions struggle on the links

Shane Lowry is among a number of past champions who won’t be around for the weekend, and he didn’t even leave here with all his clubs, having snapped one after it misbehaved on the 16th. 



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