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Richard Mansell plots route to top while ‘trying to fend off pneumonia’ at Dunhill Links

Rory McIlroy threw his head back and laughed towards the heavens after holing a 50-footer for par. Mirth, mittens and a measure of masochism were the only way to cope on a day when the atrocious conditions saw 34 pros in the 168-man field fail to break 80 in the second round of the Dunhill Links Championship.

They knew it was coming, with the DP World Tour sending them off at 8.30am with a shotgun start. But the severity of the challenge still came as a shock at the three revered seaside layouts of St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie, particularly after the benign challenge of Thursday.