Westwood in contention as famous faces fall at St Andrews

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Englishmen Lee Westwood and Paul Casey are in prime position to threaten the leaders at the Open after finishing their second rounds early to sit at six under par.

Each initially expressed disappointment at failing to fully take advantage of favourable conditions but as the day wore on their scores began to look better and better.

Westwood and Casey are tied in third and have odds of 5/1 and 8/1 respectively to win at St Andrews.

Casey’s round would have turned out to be a whole lot better if he hadn’t triple-bogeyed the 17th, while Westwood picked up just one birdie but no dropped shots, in his round of 71.

The pair will have a lot to talk about on their third round, setting off together at 4.30pm in the second to last group.

Also on six under are Spain’s Alejandro Canizares and amateur South Korean Jin Jeong, the reigning British Amateur champion. They are 33/1 and 66/1 to be on top come Sunday evening.

One of the players who had his campaign nearly destroyed by the weather was Rory McIlroy, who carded an round of 80 to follow up his record-breaking 63 to make the cut at one under.

The Ulsterman is now 40/1 to win the Open, out from 3/1 on Friday morning.

His compatriot and US Open champion Graeme McDowell fared markedly better, carding a 68 to lie five under in a share for seventh place. McDowell is 16/1 to win his second major in a row.

Tiger Woods was playing at around the same time as the first-round leader but coped significantly better than McIlroy, posting a one over 73 to sit dangerously at four under par for the tournament, good enough for tied 14th.

The 14-time major winner is 5/1 second-favourite to win his fourth Open Championship.

The Old Course claimed a few famous scalps as well, with 2002-champion Ernie Els, two-time winner Padraig Harrington and in-form Justin Rose all missing the cut.

With the weather baring its teeth once again on Saturday morning, bettors shouldn’t discount those players quite a way back. Last year’s winner Stewart Cink is at par but could get lucky with the wind – he’s 200/1 to reatin his title.

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