Two birdies and an eagle in the first five holes carried Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez to the top of the 2006 Open Championship leaderboard on Friday morning. At one stage Jimenez held a three shot lead from overnight leader Graeme McDowell, getting through six holes at -9.

However, Jimenez, who fired an opening 67 yesterday, was unable to keep up his dazzling start and he bogeyed the 7th and 8th. This moves him back to -7, still one shot ahead of the chasing pack.

Defending champion Tiger Woods enjoyed a solid start to his second round, picking up one stroke through the first seven holes – leaving him one shot behind Jimenez at -6. Woods’ American compatriot Chris DiMarco joins him on -6 after picking up four birdies on the front nine. His current score of -4 for the day is the joint-best effort so far by the early starters. South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel had also picked up four stokes, moving up to -2 after his disappointing opening round of 74 yesterday.

At the other end of the leaderboard, England’s Nick Faldo has shown improvement so far on yesterday’s round of 77. Playing with Woods, he has picked up two shots in the first seven holes to aid his unlikely bid to make the halfway cut.