Tough day for Aussies as weather wreaks Open havoc
ADAM Scott and Jason Day have given themselves a fighting chance to bring home the Claret Jug after surviving sapping second rounds at the British Open.
Scott is Australia's only player in red numbers after grinding out a one-under-par 70 to be one under for the championship and five shots behind Carnoustie's clubhouse leaders, Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner.
Johnson carded a four-under-par 67 to join overnight leader Kisner in a share of the lead at six-under-par following a sodden second round on Friday.
England's Tommy Fleetwood sits alongside American pair Pat Perez and Xander Schauffele a further shot back, with Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (four-under) and Jordan Spieth (three-under) heading a strong chasing pack.
Day lamented finishing bogey, bogey, bogey for a 71 to be even par, having been only two off the lead late in his round in driving rain.
"It was miserable out there. It didn't stop raining the whole time," a drenched Day told AAP.
"It was just tough because by the end of it everything was wet. My whole bag's wet, my clubs are wet.
"So it was a tough finish with a little bit of wind and the rain and being cold.
"I wish I could have the last four holes back but it is what it is. Hopefully the lead doesn't get too far out and I can get some nice weather tomorrow.
"Even if it's windy, as long as it's not wet, I'll try and get myself back into it."
Scott also suffered a late momentum killer, missing an eight-foot birdie putt at the last that would have put him to two under and inside the top 10.
"I feel pretty good," Scott said.
"My game didn't feel great today. I just didn't have the rhythm going this morning and didn't feel as good as yesterday.
"But it's funny because I wanted to make that one on the last, but obviously didn't and missed a couple of short ones early in the round and still shot one under anyway.
"So maybe I'm playing better than I think, which is a good thing.
"Hopefully I've got my best stuff on the weekend. I'm going to have to have a really good round - that five-under round, ideally tomorrow - to get myself somehow into this tournament."
Australia's Cameron Davis is not out of it either, but will also need a weekend charge after signing for a 72 to be one over for the championship.
Fellow Aussie Marc Leishman posted his second straight 72 to be two over and eight shots off the pace.
"I'm just hoping that it dries up. I've done if before from a long way back," Leishman said.
"Hopefully that's what I'll do. Still two rounds left, I'm striking the ball well. I'm optimistic, put it that way."
McIlroy posted a second consecutive four-under-par to put himself right in contention with two rounds to play.
"I thought I had the golf ball a bit more under control today," McIlroy said.
After the hard, fast conditions of the opening round, the rain made the greens more receptive but the course was still difficult as the balls flew much more slowly through the air.
Fleetwood, though, took advantage, with three birdies on the front nine and three more on the way home, including a 5.5m putt at the last, taking him to five under.
"I struggled yesterday tee to green," Fleetwood told Sky Sports.
"We had a good hour on the range yesterday evening and I came out today and just hit it a lot better, drove a lot better and holed some great putts. Momentum kept going, it was fun.
"(Conditions) were tough. The pins are tucked away a bit. I don't mind the rain, it was not too windy but it was playing long. It's a challenge for sure."