TROON, Scotland – The French flag was at half-staff after the carnage in Nice, casting a somber mood on the second round of the British Open.
Phil Mickelson began Friday with a three-stroke lead after shooting an 8-under 63 at Royal Troon, nearly becoming the first play to shoot 62 in a major championship. At the 18th hole, a 16-foot birdie putt lipped out of the cup, costing Lefty a truly historic round.
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.
Two French golfers were in the British Open field: Victor Dubuisson and Clement Sordet. The 23-year-old Sordet used a blue marker to write the words "Pray For Nice" on his cap. The French flag that flies above the grandstand at the 18th green, along with the banners of every other nation represented in the 156-player field, was lowered to half-staff.
After a gorgeous sunny day with only a light breeze to start the tournament, the second round began under ominous gray skies, the wind off the Irish Sea having picked up significantly. Rain was expected later in the day.
Mickelson birdied the par-5 fourth hole to push his score to 9 under, looking to take advantage before the really foul weather moved in. Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark made a couple of early birdies to get within three shots of the leader.