McIlroy in command after second straight 66


Another day, another 66 for Rory McIlroy, who appears to be in complete control of his game and halfway toward a third major title. Here's how things look after two rounds at the British Open, where McIlroy leads by four shots:

Leaderboard: Rory McIlroy (-12), Dustin Johnson (-8), Sergio Garcia (-6), Rickie Fowler (-6), Ryan Moore (-6), Francesco Molinari (-6), Charl Schwartzel (-6), Louis Oosthuizen (-6), Jim Furyk (-5), George Coetzee (-5)

What it means: McIlroy has struggled mightily during the second round in 2014, but he had no issues Friday at Royal Liverpool, where his lead ballooned at one point to five shots. While Johnson put some pressure on him with the low round of the week, the Ulsterman heads into the weekend as the man to beat after making just one birdie across the first 36 holes.

Round of the day: Johnson has a surprisingly good track record in this event, including a runner-up in 2011, and he's again in contention after a 7-under 65. Johnson opened with birdies on three of his first five holes, then added circles on Nos. 10 and 11. He closed with birdies on 17 and 18 to become the only player to beat McIlroy on either day thus far in Hoylake.

Best of the rest: McIlroy began with a bogey on the first hole and briefly entertained the notion of another Friday collapse, but quickly got things back on track and played the last 14 holes in 7 under. McIlroy never appeared on the verge of a big number, instead stuffing approach shot after approach shot as knocked in four birdies across a six-hole stretch on Nos. 5-10. Just for good measure, he closed with three birdies across his final four holes.

Biggest disappointment: Tiger Woods seemed ready to contend after an opening-round 69, but the three-time Open champ went sideways in a hurry Friday, playing his first two holes in 3 over en route to a 5-over 77. Woods struggled all day with the driver and made a triple-bogey 7 on No. 17 after sailing his tee shot out of bounds. He didn't make a birdie until the 18th hole, which was a timely up-and-down that allowed Woods to make the cut on the number.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: This is officially McIlroy's event to lose. He has shown a penchant for rough nine-hole stretches this year, but at 25 years old he has also won a pair of majors, both by eight shots. With bad weather in the forecast, tee times have been moved up and players will begin off split tees for the first time in the 143-year history of the Open.

Shot of the day: Garcia got off to a rough start with a bogey on No. 1, but things quickly turned when he holed his approach to the second green. That eagle boosted the Spaniard to a round of 2-under 70, and he now heads into the weekend at a major inside the top five for the 10th time in his career.

Quote of the day: "I don’t know if I can describe it. It’s just like I have an inner peace on the golf course. I’m very comfortable in this position. I’m very comfortable doing what I’m doing right now. It’s hard to describe.” - McIlroy