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Mickelson picks up where he left off at the Open

Golf - British Open - Phil Mickelson of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the second round as South Africa's Ernie Els and England's Lee Westwood look on - Royal Troon, Scotland, Britain - 15/07/2016. REUTERS/Paul Childs
Golf - British Open - Phil Mickelson of the U.S. watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the second round as South Africa's Ernie Els and England's Lee Westwood look on - Royal Troon, Scotland, Britain - 15/07/2016. REUTERS/Paul Childs

By Larry King

TROON, Scotland (Reuters) - Phil Mickelson picked up on Friday where he had left off the day before, when he took both the lead in the British Open and a share of the record for the low score in a major championship.

Mickelson birdied the fourth, seventh and eighth holes in the second round at Royal Troon, moving to 11 under par, five clear of his nearest challenger.

The 46-year-old American looked as if he wanted another shot at the 62 he just missed on Thursday, when he had to content himself with a 63 and a mere share of the record low in a major.

Behind him on Friday was Dane Soren Kjeldsen who collected birdies on four and six to reach six under.

Zach Johnson, the defending champion, birdied the second and fourth but then bogeyed the fifth, leaving him at five under.

The second day at Troon was supposed to be far different to the first day, when the sun shone, the climate was balmy and the breeze gentle.

Thick clouds, driving rain, plunging temperatures and fierce gales were forecast for Friday and scores were expected to deteriorate accordingly.

But for the early starters, at least, conditions remained relatively benign. The sky darkened but the wind remained manageable and the temperature bearable.

Rain was practically non-existent, by the usual standards of the west coast of Scotland.

The real difference from Thursday was the wind's change of direction, from out of the north to out of the south.

That meant golfers were hitting into the wind on the outward nine on Friday and will be hitting downwind on the inward nine.

Early in the day, that was not an issue, for the most part. Things might change if it blows harder later in the day.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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