Fillip for Mickelson as wind and rain takes a grip

Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:31pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

TROON, Scotland (Reuters) - Five-times major winner Phil Mickelson shrugged off the worst weather of the week, squally showers and gusts up to 20mph, to maintain his lead in the British Open second round on Friday.

The 46-year-old American, bidding to become the oldest winner of the championship in the modern era, compiled a two-under-par 69 to finish 10-under on 132.

Swede Henrik Stenson (65) was one shot off the pace while Dane Soren Kjeldsen (68) and American Keegan Bradley (68) shared third place on 135.

Conditions were perfectly acceptable on the front nine for the morning starters and Mickelson took advantage with early birdies at the fourth and seventh.

The veteran left-hander then delivered a pinpoint tee shot at Royal Troon's signature eighth hole, the par-three Postage Stamp, that landed several feet beyond the flag before spinning back to stop within inches of the cup.

As driving rain began to fall on the inward half, Mickelson mixed two bogeys with a solitary birdie.

"I really enjoy the challenge this weather and these elements provide," the 2013 British Open champion told reporters. "I thought it was a good round to back up the low round (63) yesterday.

"I made one or two bad swings that led to bogeys but for the most part kept the ball in play and played kind of stress-free golf.   Continued...

Jul 14, 2016; Troon,  Ayrshire, SCT; Phil Mickelson (USA) celebrates after sinking his birdie putt on the par 3 14th during the first round round of the 145th Open Championship golf tournament at Royal Troon Golf Club - Old Course. Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports