sport

Late birdies delight Scott

World No 1 Adam Scott expressed his relief after finishing his second round with back-to-back birdies to retain a presence on the Open Championship leaderboard.

The Australian, who began the day four under par, dropped back a stroke after shooting 73 on day two at Royal Liverpool.

The picture might have looked worse had he not holed from 25 feet for a three at the 17th and then two-putted from off the green to gain another shot at the last.

The 2013 Masters Champion said: "There were some ups and downs but it was really, really important to finish with a couple of birdies and put me in good shape for the weekend.

"They (birdies) all count the same, but it was a good time. Lunch will taste a lot better. If the wind stays up I shouldn't be too far back."

Scott's round started badly with bogey fives at the second and third holes. He birdied the fifth to repair some of the damage but there were further bogeys on 12 and 13 before his strong finish.

Teeing off at 9.26am alongside Justin Rose and Jason Dufner, Scott felt his position should have been better but did think increased winds made conditions tougher than on the opening day.

He added: "I could have been better today. I played really well, but didn't take advantage of my good shots and compounded that with some errors from the middle of the fairway.

"It's one thing if you're in trouble to make a bogey but when you're in the middle of the fairway you don't want to make a bogey, and I had a couple of them on the back nine. I hit the skids and had to scramble coming in.

"But today was much tougher out there, just the slight direction change and the gusts."

Weather forecasts for the weekend have been mixed with the possibility of heavy showers on Saturday but Scott is up for the challenge.

He said: "It seems like we're going to see it all over the weekend, maybe.

"Tomorrow doesn't look great but I think that's all right.

"The last 36 of a major is going to be a grind and if it's tough conditions I'm certainly up for the challenge."