Stenson leads British Open, with Mickelson a shot back

Justin Rose of England throws his club after a poor shot out of the rough on the 2nd hole during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon Scotland Friday

Stenson leads British Open, with Mickelson a shot back

Scoring a two-under-par 69 for a two round total of 132, Lefty is the halfway leader by one stroke over Sweden's Henrik Stenson. They have two players who will probably make the cut and one of them is in contention to win it all. I know what I want to get tomorrow.

Links golf can deliver some unusual finishes, though this had all the trappings of a two-man race on Sunday.

On Sunday, Stenson and Phil Mickelson will tee off about 10:20 a.m. ET for a walk into history. For Stenson the opportunity to win his first major can mark a lifetime achievement and to do so in The Open would be an even sweeter prize indeed.

The 46-year-old Mickelson is right in the mix for his sixth major title. Henrik Stenson made a two-putt birdie at the par-5 hole, giving him the lead for the first time in the British Open.

Everyone else felt like mere spectators. He was one of only 13 players to break par on a day of intermittent showers and gusts of up to 30 miles per hour off the Irish Sea.

It was unlikely to matter.

While much of the star power is out of the picture, Mickelson vs. Stenson carries plenty of intrigue.

"There's always revenge", said Henrik Stenson with a smile. Why do you think I hung onto the drive?' " Mickelson said. The scores are going to change throughout the day because the second round has yet to finish, though.

"The game of golf, it just comes and goes", he said.

Phil Mickelson's best round ever at a major was ruined by one bad break.

Jordan Spieth of the United States reacts and gestures that his tee shot at the 12th has gone left of the tee during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon Scotland Friday
Stenson leads British Open, with Mickelson a shot back

Troon is where he first figured out the secret to links golf, and he has managed to avoid big numbers all week. He also would be the third-oldest major champion behind Julius Boros (48) and Morris, with whom Mickelson shares a birthday - June 16, albeit 149 years apart.

Colin Montgomerie might play possibly his last round at a British Open all by himself.

In Nice, a large white truck plowed through Bastille Day revelers, killing at least 84 people in what was the third major attack on France in two years. He took two shots to get the ball out, only to see it roll into another bunker in front of him. No save was more unlikely than the 12th, where he pushed his tee shot toward trouble and was fortunate the ball deflected off a piece of prickly gorse.

"I went to go get it, I had that surge of adrenaline that I had just shot 62, and then I had the heartbreak that I didn't and watched that ball lip out".

To do so, Mickelson will have to stave off an impressive list of contenders and likely battle through the elements.

"This is where it really kind of turned for me", he said. "I get you have to cover it, but why do you have to interfere with it?" "This is where I stopped trying to overpower the golf course, where I accepted playing it as it's designed, and not trying to find a new, better way to beat the course other than just straightforward golf".

That wasn't the case for so many others.

Summerhays, who finished in a tie for eighth in the recent U.S. Open, shot a 73 and finished the day at 2-over 144. That leaves Bill Haas and Andrew Johnston as the players with the best chance to make a miraculous Sunday run. The Swede birdied both the par three 14th and 17th holes while Mickelson's rare mistakes at the same holes cost him bogeys.

Rickie Fowler started well until an 8 on the 11th hole. They are scheduled to tee off at 3:55 a.m. and the afternoon featured group will be selected once Spieth and Snedeker finish their round.

A bogey followed and Mickelson dropped back to 10-under but made that up with a birdie on the 14th, thanks to a lengthy putt that dropped in the hole.

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