Frenchman Jean van de Velde holds the halfway lead in the 128th Open Championship at Carnoustie after a second round of 68, the best round of the Championship so far, leaving him at one over par.
" Leaving the 14th green I said to my caddie – let’s try to think properly and get four pars in the bag, " said Van de Velde. He bettered that with birdies on the 16th and 18th.
" Out there the plan is to try and make pars and see what you get – if you drop a few putts it’s a bonus, and today I dropped a few, " he continued.
Just one stroke behind is Angel Cabrera who is on 2 over after a splendid round of 69. For a few seconds it looked like Cabrera's round would be a 70 as his par putt stopped on the edge of the eighteenth hole, but in it dropped as the Argentinian approached to tap it in.
Jesper Parnevik holds third place on his own after a level par round of 71, played whilst suffering badly from hay fever, in a gritty performance so typical of the Swede's recent Open performances.
Patrik Sjoland played the last six holes in 2 under par to finish with a 72 and join Tiger Woods and Greg Norman at 4 over par after two rounds. Norman had played one of his best Open Championship rounds but for one hole, the 17th, where after only just missing the fairway on the right, was unable to move the ball with his second shot so heavy was the rough that he found. The resulting triple bogey seven was the only blemish on his scorecard which included four birdies.
Woods stuck to his game plan of using irons from most tees. He was close to the top of the leaderboard for most of the day, just faltering with bogeys on 16 and 18, but still very much in contention.
Another European Tour member in contention is Paul Lawrie of Scotland who followed his first round 73 with a 74 today for five under to join 1997 Champion Justin Leonard, last year's second placed Brian Watts, Bradley Hughes and Len Mattiace in tied seventh position.