Even in bad weather, the top players at the British Open continued to make Royal Troon look like a mini golf course with another strong day Friday.
While there are still a number of players yet to tee off for Round 2, veterans Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson have already put up low scores to sit first and second, respectively, in the latest standings. If this continues, it could be a repeat of the 2013 Open that featured the same winner and runner-up.
Meanwhile, the rest of the field continues to jockey for position as we approach the halfway point of the major championship. Here is the latest you need to know as of midday Friday.
Phil Maintains Lead
Mickelson was on the brink of history in Round 1, finishing with a 63 that almost became a major-record 62. Either way, it was still enough to take an early lead and put Lefty in good shape to win his second Open Championship.
His second round wasn't quite as dominant, but he did more than enough to stay on top with a two-under 69, making him 10-under for the tournament.
One of the keys has been his success on par-three holes, according to Jason Sobel of ESPN:
Although he did have his first two bogeys of the tournament on holes No. 12 and No. 15, he probably won't mind too much based on how well he has played.
"I really enjoy the challenge this weather and these elements provide," Mickelson told reporters, per Tony Jimenez of Reuters. "I thought it was a good round to back up the low round yesterday."
Mickelson doesn't need to shoot a 63 every round to win, but if he can maintain the low scores, he will be in good shape.
As good as Mickelson has been in the first two days, he only holds a one-stroke lead over Stenson thanks to an impressive second round from the Swedish star.
Stenson got to the green in regulation in 16 of 18 holes, which helped contribute to seven birdies on the day. He finished with a 65, putting him to nine-under for the tournament after his 68 on Thursday.
This is quite a bit of an upgrade over his previous best at this point:
Although the 40-year-old golfer has never won a major in his career and hasn't finished in the top 10 in the last two seasons, he still has plenty of ability and is more than capable of challenging for a championship here.
Stenson also might be the best chance to stop an American winning at Royal Troon for the seventh time in a row at the British Open.
Tough Cut Line
Things could change as the rest of the golfers complete their rounds Friday, but some low scores all around the field could make the cut line one-over after two rounds.
If this is the case, some notable players could be going home.
Lee Westwood hasn't played poorly and even had an eagle in Round 1. However, he sits at two-over, which is below the projected cut line. Graeme McDowell can also probably book his plane ticket out after sitting at four-over through two rounds.
Additionally, there will be some drama for big-name players as they finish up on Friday, most notably Jason Day. The No. 1 player in the world shot just a 73 in Round 1 and had an early bogey in Round 2, putting him in a dangerous spot going forward.
Although he appears to be back on the right track, it might end up being a fight to stay in the tournament.
Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Louis Oosthuizen and others started the day close to the cut line and will have to play well to end up on the right side of it.
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