Laird claims narrow lead

Martin Laird carded his second 67 of the week to lead the Open by one shot after Friday’s second round.

Playing in his first tournament in nearly two months, the 31-year-old Scots round included a run of four consecutive birdies – from eight to 11 – and finished his second round on 10-under-par.

One stroke behind him on nine-under are Bae Sang-moon and Zach Blair, who carded 69 and 66 respectively.

“You never know how you’re going to play after seven weeks off like I had,” Laird said after his round.

“Just to come out and put back-to-back 67s up and play very solid – very solid 67s – I’m extremely happy.”

Three players are in a tie for fourth place another stroke further behind on eight-under. They are American Scott Langley (66), Sweden’s David Lingmerth (68) and compatriot Mark Hubbard (65), who was one of two players to hole a hole-in-one on the par-three seventh on the day en route to the lowest score at the California course on Friday.

The other player to shoot an ace – Billy Hurley III – failed to make the cut.
American Ryder Cup player Hunter Mahan is in a tie for eighth place following a round of 68, while his compatriot Matt Kuchar is another shot further behind on five-under after notching a 68 as well.

Lee Westwood remains eight shots off the pace even though he carded a 67 on the day, following an opening round 73 on Thursday.

Defending champion Jimmy made the cut after carding 66 on the day but remains well off the pace after his 75 on the first day.