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South African Coetzee shoots 69 on 28th birthday


HOYLAKE, England (AP) — George Coetzee shot a 3-under 69 at the British Open to climb within one shot of leader Rory McIlroy.

On his 28th birthday, the South African was even with McIlroy at 6 under after three straight birdies on the back side Friday. He capped the run with a tap-in at the par-3 15th, his tee shot curling up about 2 feet from the hole.

Two straight bogeys knocked Coetzee back, but he finished off with a birdie at the 18th for a 5-under 139 at the midway point of the tournament.

After pristine conditions on Thursday, the wind picked up considerably at Royal Liverpool, making it tougher to go low. But the expected showers held off, as the second round was held in warm, sunny conditions.

McIlroy has an afternoon tee time.