Friday was all about the weather at the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon.
The early-morning wave dealt with some rain, but relatively calm winds, which allowed for some low scores like Henrik Stenson's 65 and Charl Schwartzel's 66.
In the late morning and afternoon, the wind picked up significantly blowing steady at 20-25 mph, and for a stretch, there was driving rain and players dealt with gusts as high as 36 mph.
When the afternoon group started, the cut line was at 1 over and moved all the way to 4 over as players hung on for dear life at Royal Troon in the wind and rain. The move led to a dramatic 14-shot spread between the leader Phil Mickelson at 10 under to those on the cut line at 4 over.
There are 81 players heading to the weekend at the Open, but only 21 are within eight shots of the lead.
Here is how the leaderboard stands going into the weekend at Royal Troon.
1. Phil Mickelson (-10): Mickelson set a course record for 36 holes with his 132 thanks to a solid 69 on Friday. Mickelson stuck to his game plan, hitting almost exclusively irons off the tee and avoiding trouble. That strategy allowed him to hang onto the lead, but his three-shot cushion shrunk to one as Stenson and others charged up the leaderboard. It will be interesting to see if that pressure from behind makes him play a bit more aggressively this weekend.
2. Henrik Stenson (-9): Stenson's 65 on Friday was almost as impressive as Mickelson's 63 on Thursday, considering the conditions. The Swede ripped up Royal Troon, hitting 16-of-18 greens in regulation with only 28 putts. He'll have a chance to apply more pressure to Phil on Saturday in the final group and try to overtake him for the lead.
T3. Soren Kjeldsen (-7): Kjeldsen's bogey-free 68 was impressive on Friday and he's in contention at a major going into the weekend for the first time in his career.
T3. Keegan Bradley (-7): Bradley maintained his quality play on Friday, which is a good sign for a guy that's had a rough go of it this year -- especially with the putter. A strong 68 has him lurking two back of his buddy and Ryder Cup partner Phil Mickelson.
5. Zach Johnson (-5): The defending champion is still hanging around the top of the leaderboard. We saw last year that he can grind through some bad weather, so if things get nasty on the weekend, it might help Johnson as others fade.
T6. Tony Finau (-4): This is quietly a fantastic story. Finau is known as a bomber, but he's playing excellent golf this week in his first career Open Championship. He posted a 71 on Friday to remain in the top 10 going into the weekend.
T6. Bill Haas (-4): This is what Haas does. He quietly goes about his business and puts up solid scores and all of a sudden on Sunday we'll look up and say "hey, how is he two back?"
T6. Charl Schwartzel (-4): Schwartzel had the second-best round of the day with his magnificent 66 to go from 1 over to 4 under and get into the weekend hunt.
T6. Andrew Johnston (-4): There might not be a more popular golfer this side of Mickelson on the leaderboard than "Beef" Johnston. The bearded Englishman is a fan favorite, and steady rounds of 69-69 have him squarely in contention.
T6. Sergio Garcia (-4): Sergio is playing the patience game. He went out and shot an even-par 71 on Friday but did so without risking a big number. He knows that the Open is a grueling four days, especially with the weather starting to show its teeth, and if he can just plod along and narrow the gap a bit on Saturday he'll have a chance.
T15. Dustin Johnson (-2)
T15. Rory McIlroy (-2)
T22. Rickie Fowler (-1)
T27. Adam Scott (E)
T41. Jason Day (+1)
T59. Justin Rose (+3)
T68. Jordan Spieth (+4)
T68. Bubba Watson (+4)
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