Daily Digest: Third round of Open Championship under way with Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner in lead

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Hello, it’s David Cooper here giving you a bitesize look at what’s going on this afternoon.

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The third round of The Open Championship is under way at Carnoustie, with Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner taking a share of the lead at six under par into the day.

Johnson, who is looking to become the first player in history to win major titles at Augusta, St Andrews and Carnoustie, shot 67 on Friday to jump to the top of the leaderboard.

Tommy Fleetwood, meanwhile, carded the only bogey-free round of the day as his 65 shot him into contention and placed him just one shot back.

Read more about the action from the second round here.

FOOTBALL

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Barcelona are heating up their pursuit of Chelsea midfielder Willian, with the Spanish giants lodging a third bid worth £55 million for the 29-year-old winger, according to Sky Sports. Check out more on the situation in our Rumour Mill.

With Real Madrid also in hot pursuit of another Chelsea playmaker, our man Brendon Netto took a look at three key targets for Los Blancos as they attempt to fill the sizable void left behind by Cristiano Ronaldo.

CRICKET

ZAMAN

Fakhar Zaman made history in Friday’s ODI victory over Zimbabwe, knocking an unbeaten 210 to become the first Pakistan batman to record a double century. He was also involved in a 304-run opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq, which is now the highest first-wicket partnership in ODI cricket. Read more on Zaman’s incredible performance here.

REGIONAL

UAE Team Emirates’ Alexander Kristoff nearly pulled off a victory on stage 13 of the Tour de France on Friday, finishing just behind Peter Sagan on a sprint finish.

In the AGL, former Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu has been appointed new coach of Al Wahda’s reserves.

FEATURE OF THE DAY

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Liverpool should contend for the Premier League title this coming season, but they’re not without question marks. Alex Broun takes a look at five questions Jurgen Klopp must answer if the Reds are to lift the trophy and end their title drought.

SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Golf: The Open Championship, third round, ongoing

Cricket: South Africa v Sri Lanka, second Test, ongoing

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Sandy Lyle finishes on cloud nine at The Open

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Sandy Lyle’s Open career ended with a brilliant birdie on the 18th which left the former champion on cloud nine.

A second round of 76 at Carnoustie meant Lyle missed the halfway cut for the ninth time in his last 10 appearances, but the 60-year-old signed off in style by holing from 25 feet on the last.

“That’s a great way to finish,” said 1985 champion Lyle, who pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and waved it to the crowd before pretending to dab away a tear.

“I was on cloud nine walking down the 18th.

“It was not an easy second shot from the right-hand side of the fairway. There’s not much to land the ball on.

Coming in from the right-hand side like I was, it was quite a challenge. But to make birdie was extra special.

“I managed to stay away from crying, but definitely a lump in the throat, yeah. Definitely.”

Past champions can play in the Open until they are 60 and Lyle could still qualify for a return by winning next week’s Senior Open at St Andrews, but the likelihood of this being his last appearance meant he was given the honour of hitting the opening shot on Thursday.

“In 40-odd plus years I’ve played in the tournament, to have the pleasure of doing the opening tee shot was quite special to me,” Lyle, who made his Open debut in 1974, said. “It shows that they care and they appreciate what I’ve done over the years.

“There’s always a chance I could play my way back into the tournament. I will try. I won’t totally, totally give up. But it seems like it’s the last Open for me as far as turning up. I’ll have to work to get back in again.

“I have no regrets. I’ve had a good run. If qualifying is up here in Scotland and I’m living up here, I might just give it a run in the next few years. That would be it.”

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Zach Johnson happy not to hog the limelight as second Open Championship is within sight

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Zach Johnson will gladly accept not being the popular choice to win a second Open Championship as he seeks to make golfing history.

No player has ever won majors at all three famed venues of Augusta, St Andrews and Carnoustie, but Johnson can do so this weekend after a second round of 67 put him firmly in contention on six under par.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood is just a shot behind Johnson and Rory McIlroy another stroke adrift, but while they will command much of the spotlight and spectator support, Johnson will take it all in his stride.

“I don’t relish it. I’m just so wholeheartedly used to it,” Johnson said of his relatively low popularity among fans. “Maybe I’m just overly conservative and boring and that’s perfectly fine. I just like to compete. It doesn’t matter where it is, what it is. Just give me an opportunity.”

Johnson won the Masters in 2007 and the Open at St Andrews in 2015, beating Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a four-hole play-off.

And the 42-year-old makes no secret of what it would mean to get his name on the Claret Jug for a second time after embracing the challenge of links golf, despite missing the cut in his first three Open appearances.

“I really haven’t given it a whole lot of thought because I’m so about right now,” Johnson added. “But the reverence I have for this championship and specifically that trophy, that Claret Jug… I’m not suggesting that someone doesn’t have a higher reverence for it, but I’d argue with them.

“I just greatly appreciate it. I greatly appreciate how the game was formed over here, how this championship came into fruition back in 1860. Everything about it I’ve embraced and I love.

“I’m not going to sit here and say, man, I just love playing in the wind and rain because I don’t, but I can do it, you know. I may not play well, but I’m going to go out and fight.”

For the third year in succession, Johnson is sharing accommodation for the Open with a number of friends and fellow competitors, first-round leader Kevin Kisner this year joining Johnson, as well as defending champion Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker, Jason Dufner and Rickie Fowler in domestic bliss.

And although he would be happy to foot the bill, this time there will be no repeat of the Open winner paying for time on a private jet service to take the housemates back across the Atlantic.

“We made an agreement that, if you win, you get the jet and you buy it so we go home,” Johnson revealed. “I think it (the cost) varies based on how many guys. My point is I didn’t pay last year. Somebody else did.

“I’d be happy to fork that over. This year a bunch of guys are going elsewhere so it’s not going to come to fruition. It’s not going to happen, but that’s fine.”

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