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Martin Laird

Jordan Spieth takes two-shot lead into weekend play at the British Open

Jordan Spieth takes two-shot lead into weekend play at the British Open

It was a scene repeated time and again Friday as winds off the Irish Sea whipped across Royal Birkdale, buffeting the British Open grandstands and turning would-be solid shots into physics-defying banana balls. A player would hit his tee shot, watch it bend vigorously to the right or left, then shoot his arm out to the side to warn spectators a ball was coming their way.

With gusts of 30-plus mph, and sheets of rain in the late afternoon, the tournament’s second round was closer to round fore.

Jordan Spieth shot a one-under-par 69 to hang on to what had been a three-way tie for the lead when the day began. He is at six under, two strokes better than fellow American...

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