sport

Rose happy to be in the mix

Justin Rose had a driver in his bag from the start of play on Friday, but it was a different club which did most to boost his chances of a third win in succession in the Open Championship.

A mix-up with clubs made for two of his caddie's friends meant Rose was only reunited with his driver on the third hole of his opening round, although he insisted it did not affect his game-plan.

A round of 72 left the 2013 US Open champion six shots off the pace, but a second round of 70 in tough conditions kept his dreams of a second major title very much alive, thanks largely to chipping in twice in succession with the same pitching wedge.

"I was pleased with that," Rose said. "It was difficult out there today and that was probably just good enough to keep me right in it. I couldn't have asked more out of today, to be honest with you.

"It was tough out early and I was one over through seven. I had a couple of nice strokes of fortune around the turn, chipping in at nine and 10 for a birdie and an eagle which felt like I got my championship going.

"I made a nice par save on eight too so if I do go on to win, that little stretch there would be a turning point for sure. But all it's done right now is given me an opportunity going into the weekend.

"It feels right now that we're on the wrong side of the draw. There's always a tipping point with links course. I think with a 10-15mph breeze it's sort of fun to play. If it gets over 15, if it gets toward 20mph which I would imagine it did today, that's when it gets quite extreme and quite difficult."