Mickelson maintains lead at halfway point…

Mickelson maintains lead at halfway point of British Open

Troon (Scotland) July 16 (IANS) American golfer Phil Mickelson is still in the lead at the midway point of the British Open, firing a two-under 69 on a rainy and windy day at Royal Troon Golf Club to leave him 10 strokes under par for the tournament.

“I really enjoy the challenge that this weather and these elements provide,” the five-time major winner said after his round on Friday.

The 46-year-old Mickelson, who in near-perfect conditions on Thursday shot an 8-under 63 and came within one lip-out on the 18th hole of firing the lowest score in major golf tournament history, said of his improved links play that he learned to stop “fighting the air so much, putting so much spin on the ball, trying to hit it way too hard,” reports Efe.

“Now I feel like I’m able to, again, stress-free, get the ball down the fairway low and on the ground, and let the hills and the knolls affect it more than the air. I don’t feel like I’m fighting it off the tee so much,” he added.

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson is just one shot back at 9-under after firing a 6-under 65 on Friday, while Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen and American Keegan Bradley are three shots back heading into the weekend.

“I haven’t been in contention for the last six majors, and I just wanted to turn things around,” the 40-year-old Stenson said. “I’m not going to play these tournaments for ever and ever. I don’t have another 50 goes at them.”

Australian world No. 1 Jason Day is far behind Mickelson at 1-over par, while American world No. 2 Dustin Johnson is at 2-under and his countryman, world No. 3 Jordan Spieth, is at 4-over and barely made the cut.

Northern Irish world No. 4 Rory McIlroy is at 2-under with 36 holes to play.

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