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Rory McIlroy feels he still has chance of winning 151st Open despite Friday’s 70

Rory McIlroy believes he still has a chance of winning the 151st Open despite failing to make a serious move in his second round at Royal Liverpool.

The world number two did not build significantly on his level-par opening round as he shot a one-under 70 on Friday.

That left him nine shots off the clubhouse lead held by Brian Harman but, even though he has much ground to makeup, he is not writing off his chances.

“I might be nine back, but I don’t think there’s going to be a ton of players between me and the lead going into the weekend,” said the 34-year-old, who is bidding to end a nine-year wait for a fifth major title by winning for a second time at Hoylake.

“It depends what the conditions are tomorrow and obviously depends what Brian does as well.

“Right now it’s not quite out of my hands. I think if I can get to three, four, five under par tomorrow going into Sunday, I’ll have a really good chance.”

McIlroy produced a strong finish on Thursday by saving par on the par-five fifth after hitting bunker trouble.

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He looked to have carried some momentum into his second round with two early birdies but they were cancelled out by bogeys on the back nine.

Yet he got a shot back with another birdie on the 18th and, despite his frustrations, was happy enough with his performance.

McIlroy said: “It played really, really tough. Ten under par is unbelievably impressive out there.

“We’ll see what the weekend holds but I’m actually pretty happy with my two days’ work.

“I don’t think I have to do anything differently. I’m hitting the ball well from tee to green.

“I’ve missed a couple of chances on the greens and the wind got me today.”

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