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Grace, Johnson shoot up Open leaderboard in chase of Spieth

He was two shots behind Jordan Spieth, who was on the range still warming up, when Grace finished.

Lloyd Mangrum shot the first 64 in a major in 1940 and that record stood 33 years until Johnny Miller's 63.

Grace made the cut mark by a mere one stroke at four-over par, but he took full advantage of the perfectly calm weather conditions after the miserable damp weather which tested the players' resolve in Friday's second round.

Rory McIlroy squandered a flying start to card a 69 and finish on two under alongside Scotland's Richie Ramsay and the English duo of Ross Fisher and Ian Poulter.

A birdie at the first set him on his way and four more by the turn gave him an outward 29.

"That would be incredible", Spieth said. "I understand how leads can be squandered and how leads can be built on". "I've had the high and the humbling so I will keep my head down and not get ahead of myself". And then there was Jack Nicklaus in the first round of Baltusrol for the 1980 U.S. Open.

The bad news for the chasing pack is that Spieth has converted five of his last 36-hole leads into victories.

"You can see from my reaction I didn't know what was going on".

Kuchar is still by far the best-placed to deny Spieth, though, and the duo will again go out together in the final pairing on Sunday afternoon.




He said: "I think it helps I didn't know".

There have been 31 rounds of 63 in the sport's biggest tournaments and Grace's feat prompted a standing ovation at the 18th green as he saluted the packed galleries at Royal Birkdale.

"I'm in a position where it can be very advantageous, just everything I've gone through, the good, the bad, and everything in the middle", said Spieth.

"And obviously it makes me feel a lot better after the score I shot today". "I was just grinding, grinding, and I just couldn't believe my final round, making so many birdies". "I had no idea that was the lowest".

The 146th Open Championship is the 442nd major championship to be contested in golf history, with no one having ever shot a 62 in the previous 441.

There he made birdie to get to two-under par and then he started to believe history could be made.

Asked how he could not have known, he said: "I honestly didn't". I bounced back well on the ninth but the six on the 10th was a real kick in the teeth.

But it really is just an outside chance, for him and the rest of the chasing pack, after Spieth built on his two-stroke overnight lead to shoot a bogey-free 65 and climb to 11 under par for the championship.

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