England’s Tommy Fleetwood is a shot off the lead at The Open Championship as Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy also surged into contention at the halfway stage at Carnoustie.
Fleetwood, 27, carded a six-under-par 65 to stand a shot behind USA’s Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner on five under.
McIlroy, bidding for his first major since 2014, is a shot back on four under after a second successive 69.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth carded a 67 to move three under.
Persistent rain hampered those teeing off their second round on Friday morning – including Fleetwood and McIlroy – with conditions improving for the later starters on the links on the east coast of Scotland.
However, few players in the afternoon groups managed to take full advantage.
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Kisner, 34, had moved clear at eight under par with five birdies but double-bogeyed the 18th after putting his second shot into the Barry Burn.
He is one of seven American players who have been sharing a house at Carnoustie this week – along with Spieth and Johnson.
Only Kisner and Rickie Fowler, who is three under, have not won a major among the group, with Spieth, Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jason Dufner and Jimmy Walker having claimed eight between them.
“I learned that everybody’s going through the same stuff and trying to shoot the lowest score possible, and everybody puts their pants on the same way I do,” Kisner said.
“So they just won a few more times than I have and probably got a couple more zeros in their bank accounts.”
Can Fleetwood or McIlroy end American dominance?
Americans hold all four of golf’s men’s majors and they dominates the Carnoustie leaderboard with nine of the leading 13 players.
Pat Perez, 42, is alongside Fleetwood on five under after a 68, but a bogey on the last – his only dropped shot of the day – denied him a share of the overnight lead.
Perez and Fleetwood were joined by 24-year-old Xander Schauffele, who sunk two birdies and an eagle on the back nine to card a 66.
Matt Kuchar, who was denied a maiden major by Spieth at Birkdale last year, moved to four under with a 68 alongside compatriot Tony Finau and South Africans Erik van Rooyen and Zander Lombard, who all shot level-par 71s.
Spieth, 24, is three shots behind the leaders with Fowler joining him in tied 11th after shooting a 69.
England’s Danny Willett carded a 71 and is two under while US Open champion Brooks Koepka is one under after a 69.
Fourteen-time major winner Tiger Woods remains level par after a second successive 71, while 2013 champion Phil Mickelson is on the same score after a 69.
Dustin misses the cut – Rose survives
Dustin Johnson is the first world number one since England’s Luke Donald in 2011 to miss the cut at the Open, which fell at three over at Carnoustie.
The 34-year-old American shot 72 and finished six over, while world number two Justin Thomas shot a 76 to end four over.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia was among the other major winners to miss the cut, as did his compatriot Jon Rahm after the world number five carded a seven-over 78.
However, England’s world number three Justin Rose will return on Saturday after a birdie on the 18th moved back to three over and above the cut line.
Scottish 19-year-old Sam Locke finished on the same mark to continue his Open debut and secure the silver medal as leading amateur, while Rhys Enoch – the only Welshman in the field – also scraped through.
Fleetwood recovers after ‘hitting it rubbish’
Fleetwood is aiming for his first major title after coming close at the US Open last month, where he fell a shot short of champion Koepka.
The world number 10 put himself into contention at the halfway stage with a superb round which did not feature a single bogey and concluded with a birdie on the 18th.
“It was a struggle on Thursday,” he said. “I didn’t really hit it, I hit rubbish most of yesterday.
“We put in a good hour’s work last night and we played better. It was a really good round of golf.”
McIlroy happy after ‘very different’ gameplan
McIlroy, 29, is a four-time major winner but has not lifted one of the sport’s biggest prizes since the PGA Championship in 2014.
After an opening 69, the world number eight matched that round with four birdies on his card along with dropped shots on the 12th and 15th holes.
“I would have taken a second round of two under before going out today,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.
“The conditions are not too bad, but are bad enough to make you think I had to adopt a very different gameplan.”
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Emotional Lyle waves goodbye as Langer makes cut
Scottish veteran Sandy Lyle provided one of the day’s most memorable moments, signing off what is likely to be his final Open appearance with a birdie on the 18th.
The 60-year-old, who won the title in 1985, holed a 25-foot putt to huge cheers, then pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and waved it to the crowd.
“That’s a great way to finish,” he said. “I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th.
“I managed to stay away from crying, but definitely had a lump in the throat.”
While Lyle finished nine over, his fellow 60-year-old and former Ryder Cup team-mate Bernhard Langer made the cut after carding rounds of 73 and 71 to finish two over.
BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter
Having earned this position at the halfway stage, just a shot off the lead, having done what he did at the US Open, Tommy Fleetwood feels like a player ready to win a first major.
Rory McIlroy is still pursuing that aggressive attitude and aggressive gameplan and he is looking to play to his strengths – he is not being cowed by the speedy nature of the fairways.
He will love the position that he’s in at four under par, just two shots back.
Jordan Spieth was playing military golf: left, right; left, right; left, right. He must be delighted with his position because he certainly scored better than he hit it.