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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks at a pheasant as it walks across the eighth green during the second round of the British Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, on Friday. The wild bird did not distract McIlroy as he held his lead going into the weekend. Cathal McNaughton / Reuters

McIlroy overcomes Friday demons, holds British Open lead

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HOYLAKE, England — This time there was no freaky Friday for Rory McIlroy as a majestic second round gave him a four-shot stranglehold on the British Open at a sweltering Royal Liverpool course.

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