Three groups to watch in The Open second round

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Louis Oosthuizen. (Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images)
Louis Oosthuizen. (Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images)

The 149th edition of the Open Championship continues at Royal St George's on Friday after the coronavirus pandemic caused the cancellation of last year's event.

LIVE LEADERBOARD | The 149th Open Championship

After an intriguing opening day, AFP Sport looks at three groups to watch during the second round (SA times):

15:37 Brian Harman, Mackenzie Hughes, Dylan Frittelli

The largely unheralded trio all had an opening day to remember at Sandwich.

Harman shot a five under par 65 for a share of second place.

Meanwhile Canadian Hughes, making his Open debut and South African Frittelli, only called into the field as 11th reserve on Monday after compatriot Louis de Jager had to withdraw following a positive Covid test, are both a shot further back on four under.

All three players benefitted from largely helpful conditions after an early start on Thursday and it remains to be seen if the weather will be in their favour during the second round.

The history of the Open Championship is littered with one-round wonders who disappeared from the top of the leaderboard after the opening day, but that is the challenge facing this three-ball.

15:59 Louis Oosthuizen, Shane Lowry, Jon Rahm

South African Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion at St Andrews, will look to carry on from where he left on Thursday after shooting to the top of the leaderboard with a superb six under par round of 64 that featured seven birdies in 10 holes and not a single bogey.

Meanwhile Irishman Lowry, the current Open title-holder after a 2019 triumph at Portrush, will try to get himself back into contention after an opening round of one over par.

It's a similar story for recently crowned US Open champion Spaniard Rahm, a pre-tournament favourite, who also shot 71 in the first round.

16:21 Dustin Johnson, Will Zalatoris, Justin Rose

Rose has long been tipped as a possible winner of the Claret Jug and made a positive start with a three under par opening round.

But the Englishman has only once enjoyed a better finish at the tournament than the fourth place he managed as a 17-year-old amateur at Carnoustie in 1998, with his lone major title coming eight years ago at the US Open.

Two-time major winner Johnson is a short further back on two under, with Zalatoris, his fellow American a shot further back at one under in his British Open debut after bursting onto the world stage with a runner's-up finish behind Hideki Matsuyama at the Masters in April.

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