British Open: Roaring Rory McIlroy on the move at Birkdale

British Open: Roaring Rory McIlroy on the move at Birkdale

After holding a share of the first-round lead with countrymen Jordan Spieth and US Open champion Brooks Koepka, Kuchar posted a one-over-par 71 in brutal conditions on Friday (Saturday NZ Time) to hold firm. But as noted before the round of the day belonged to Branden Grace and round of the day may be underselling it.

According to the latest oddsmakers, Spieth is now a -375 favorite to take home the major championship entering Sunday's final round.

The 44 year-old, whose only pro win was on the Challenge Tour in 2001, was tied for sixth after round one, two shots off the lead on a three-under 67, having finishing his opening 18 holes with three successive birdies. Kuchar is on eight under after a 66.

The scoreboard was a sea of red figures as player after player peppered the flags. They are in the next to the last pairing, tied for third place at -5. He didn't bogey a single hole on Saturday, once again methodically picking apart this course.

On a day when Branden Grace made golfing history, shooting the lowest round ever in a major championship, Jordan Spieth continued along the path to making his own. Thus a par on the last hole and 37 strokes over the final nine holes left him feeling less than excited.

He later insisted that he had no idea he had broken the record until being told by his caddie.

Spieth turned a bogey or worse into an unlikely par by chipping in from just short of the 10th green.

Spieth, who has wrestled with the high expectations left in the wake of his brilliant 2015 major season - he won two (Masters, U.S. Open), went to the 72nd hole with a chance at a third (Open), and finished two shots back at a fourth (PGA) - has carried himself with a certain swagger since stepping upon the grounds at Birkdale.

Jaguar E-Pace - prices, specs and CO2
The most obvious callback to the F-Type is the headlamp design, which is very different from the wide-eyed lights on the F-Pace. F-PACE sales outsold all Jaguars combined in June, dwarfing its traditional F-Type sports auto and XF sedan .

Spieth was rarely in trouble.

It was a disappointing finish for the 39-year-old, who did not see the round as a head-to-head tussle with two-time major victor Spieth.

Kuchar's big lapses came on the 16th when he drove into a pot bunker, could only blast out to the fairway with a sand wedge, hit an indifferent shot to the green and then three-putted for double bogey. The 69 and 66 he has followed with has seen him climb the leaderboard.

With winds of nearly 50km/h gusting through the course, Kuchar earlier mixed four bogeys with three birdies and hoped to kick back in his hotel and watch the afternoon carnage unfold.

"And to do it at the Open Championship is pretty special. The formula has produced a lot of good golf and I hope it continues to produce some good golf tomorrow".

"I'll come out with a game plan similar to today, set a goal and keep my head down". Playing in the last group of the day, Spieth shot a 65 and has a three-stroke lead as he tries to become the second youngest player to win three majors. So, I couldn't keep my glasses dry. Or a 1-iron, he said, to clear the bunkers and have just one other to worry about.

"Preparing for wet conditions are just really, really hard because the speed of the greens change when it gets really wet and you just don't know exactly how much they change, so you struggle not only with putting but also hitting shots into the greens and how much are they going to bounce", Finau said. "I had to find a couple of little key thoughts, and I feel like I have".