Fleetwood cards fine 65 to share Open lead

Tommy Fleetwood of England plays from the fairway in the second round of the British Open Golf Championship at Carnoustie on Friday

Fleetwood holds the course record at Carnoustie after shooting a 63 here a year ago, and Friday's effort is the best ever for the second round of a British Open on the notoriously tough Scottish links.

The 27-year-old Englishman, whose 63 at last year's Alfred Dunhill Links championship broke the Carnoustie course record, rattled in a 10-foot birdie at the 18th, his sixth of the day, to reach five-under at the tournament's halfway stage.

Having barely registered on the tournament radar on Thursday with a one-over par 72, Fleetwood's surge yesterday morning took The Open by surprise but not the Merseysider himself, who was over the moon with his work in tricky conditions at Carnoustie.

Fleetwood, who usually travels with his dog but said he and his wife Clare had brought their young son Franklin with them this time, added that he feels he can deal with expectations better now than at last year's Open at his local club Royal Birkdale.

"If I can hit it like I did today then, obviously, I'm going to have a lot of chances coming in over the weekend, and we'll see where that takes me".

"Yeah, it would be - it would be very special", said Fleetwood.

"I've never been anywhere near before but after two rounds, I'm up on the leaderboard. I struggled tee to green in the first round but I spent some time on the range and just hit it a lot better", he said. He then birdied the 11th and tapped in a three-footer to gain another stroke on the 14th.

Fleetwood said that his stunning final round in the US Open at the ultra-demanding Shinnecock Hills had given him enormous belief in his ability to be a contender at a major.

"I felt very comfortable out there".

"We just were in the strangest spots possible on the golf course, you know, where we didn't think we would be". I figured looking at the board isn't going to do me any good and I was just happy to claw my way back in a little bit.

"I never felt at ease all day". But the ball was doing what I wanted it to do.

That Fleetwood hadn't even considered shooting such a low score was, he says, "an indication of how good it was".

Locke, a protege of 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie, shot a two-over-par 73 in his second round to make it just inside the cut on three-over.

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