RORY MCILROY STRUGGLED to a five over par round of 75 after a series of wayward drives from the tee-box, while American Brandy Snedeker leads The Open at -10.
The 2011 Us Open champion sits at level par after 13 holes, having bogeyed five holes and double-bogeying the ninth.
The only high points of a disappointing day for the 23-year-old were birdies on holes four and seven.
He started off solidly with two pars but a bogey followed on the third but McIlroy got the shot back with a great approach and mid-range putt on four.
The Ulsterman got a par on five but was in the long grass again from the tee at six and forced a chip into the greenside bunker. His recovery was not close enough to the pin and he dropped back to four shots off the leader, Adam Scott.
However, McIlroy edged back up after getting to within 20 yards of the par 5 seventh hole before chipping close and sinking a birdie.
The ninth hole, a par 3, proved his undoing as he found the bunker with his iron approach and hit the lip on an unsuccessful escape attempt. He eventually splashed out to within 15 feet but missed the bogey putt.
McIlroy looked showed his anger, swiping at air with his putter, after a bogey on 12. He closed out his round with further dropped shots on 14 and 17 and is in danger of missing the cut.
Padraig Harrington finished poorly to find himself on +2 after two rounds. He went to -1 after a birdie on the opening hole and came close on five but his putt faded to the right.
He gained another shot after a birdie at the eighth but a three-wood effort from the fairway on 11 found a deep bunker and led to a bogey.
The two-time Open champion finished with three bogeys for his final four holes and was not smiling as he strode off the last green to a smattering of applause.
Bad start for Colsaerts
Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, second place at the beginning of the day, was not so fortunate with bogeys at the second and third dropping him down the leaderboard after six holes.
They were both among the day’s early starters chasing first-round leader Adam Scott of Australia, who equalled the Lytham course record on Thursday with a six under 64 that included a bogey at the last.
He is joined at second on the leaderboard with 1999 Open winner Paul Lawrie as he bogeyed the third hole. The Scot sunk a birdie putt on five before coughing the gain back up on seven.
World number one Luke Donald was briefly at -4 after recording four birdies in five holes but his momentum was halted by a bogey on the 10th after a weak chip slipped back off the fringes of the green.
Snedeker put together a fine round and currently leads by five strokes. Some of his recovery play from the rough has been as impressive as the clutch putting that has led to six birdies on a blemish free round.
Brandt Snedeker takes in the action as he waits to tee off at 16. (Nick Potts/PA Wire.)
Tiger Woods opened his round with an exquisite iron approach into the first but left his birdie putt short. Woods and Graeme McDowell remain at -3 in the early stages of their afternoon rounds.
Heavy overnight rain meant that several of Lytham’s 206 pot bunkers were partially filled with water, but with conditions improving and some sunshine on the way another day of low scores looked to be in store.
-10: Brandt Snedeker (after 18)
-5: Adam Scott (6), Paul Lawrie (7)
-4: Zach Johnson (4)
-3: Ernie Els (6), Bubba Watson (4), Graeme McDowell (3), Tiger Woods (2)
At 3.25pm, six players were at -2
- Additional reporting © AFP, 2012