Who's saying what at the Open Championship

golf21 July 2023 20:55| © AFP
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Brian Harman © Gallo Images

American Brian Harman stormed clear of the field, opening up a five-stroke lead at the halfway point of the British Open on Friday.

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AFP Sport picks out some of the best soundbites after the second round at Hoylake:

"I wouldn't say there's one person in the field that wouldn't welcome that change."

– Rory McIlroy was pleased by the tournament organisers' decision to make the bunkers easier after criticism they were too difficult on day one.

"Just keep going back on those four putts from inside four feet that I've missed. Those are four shots that you can't give up in major championships."

– World No 3 Jon Rahm was left frustrated as he sits at two over for the tournament.

"I've been a hunter my entire life. I enjoy the strategy of it... we eat a lot of wild meat at my house, so I enjoy butchering, and I do a lot of hunting."

– Harman explains how he spends his time away from the golf course.

"Brian Harman had a great round. Six-under, anyone will take six-under today. It's like shooting 10-under on any other golf course, so that's amazing."

– India's Shubhankar Sharma, who is tied for fourth, was impressed by Harman's 65.

"There's nobody that shot 82 that hit some of the quality shots that I did yesterday. It doesn't make sense. I'll hit shots like a No 1 player in the world, and then I'll make a nine on my last hole."

– Two-time major winner Justin Thomas was 11-over for his first round after taking a nine at the 18th.

"Probably a million dollars"

– Australia's Travis Smyth was asked which he savoured more – his prize money from playing on the breakaway LIV Golf circuit last year or his hole-in-one on the 17th at Royal Liverpool.

"If somebody said 'You're going out in the last group on Saturday', I don't care what the situation was or what anybody had shot, I'd have probably taken it."

– Home favourite Tommy Fleetwood is aiming to chase down Harman.

"I hit plenty of good drives all day today, and a few of them found the bunker. It's basically a shot penalty. It's a very frustrating golf course."

– Defending champion Cameron Smith saved himself from missing the cut with an eagle at the 18th.