Europe

Prayers for Nice as 2nd round begins at the British Open

  • Clement Sordet of France plays his shot from the 7th tee, wearing a cap that has the words 'Pray for Nice' written by hand on it, during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland, Friday, July 15, 2016. France was ravaged by its third attack in two years when a large white truck mowed through revelers gathered for Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, late Thursday,  as it bore down on the crowd for more than a mile along the Riviera city's famed seaside promenade(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    Clement Sordet of France plays his shot from the 7th tee, wearing a cap that has the words 'Pray for Nice' written by hand on it, during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland, Friday, July 15, 2016. France was ravaged by its third attack in two years when a large white truck mowed through revelers gathered for Bastille Day fireworks in Nice, late Thursday, as it bore down on the crowd for more than a mile along the Riviera city's famed seaside promenade(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Phil Mickelson of the United States putts on the 1st green during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

    Phil Mickelson of the United States putts on the 1st green during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland, Friday, July 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)  (The Associated Press)

  • Francesco Molinari of Italy tees off the 7th  during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland, Friday, July 15, 2016. Molinari is wearing a black ribbon on his hat to show sympathy with the attack in Nice, France, on Thursday.(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

    Francesco Molinari of Italy tees off the 7th during the second round of the British Open Golf Championship at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland, Friday, July 15, 2016. Molinari is wearing a black ribbon on his hat to show sympathy with the attack in Nice, France, on Thursday.(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)  (The Associated Press)

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.