The Open: Mickelson continues to impress, and moves to -10 through two rounds

Phil Mickelson enjoyed a solid second-round to become the early clubhouse leader on Friday at the Open

The Open: Mickelson continues to impress, and moves to -10 through two rounds
Phil Mickelson enjoyed a solid second round at Royal Troon (image source: Kevin C. Cox / Staff - Getty Images)

Following his record-equalling round of 63 on Thursday, Phil Mickelson continues to set the pace at The Open

The big lefty's two-under par second round has seen him move to -10 through 36 holes, and most likely the leader going into the weekend. 

Overnight leader flourishes during best of early conditions

Mickelson had a leap in his step on the second morning after his stunning round on Thursday, and with favourable conditions he went about extending his overnight lead on the easier front nine. 

Birdies at holes four and seven were followed by an immaculate two at the Postage Stamp (hole eight), where his tee shot left him with a tap-in for birdie. 

Mickelson made a strong start to his round (image source: David Cannon/R&A/Contributor - Getty Images)

Going out in 33, the popular 46-year-old had moved to 11-under par for the tournament and was starting to build an extremely comfortable lead. 

Mickelson drops one on the back-nine as rain engulfs the course

As Phil turned to take on the second-half of his round, the weather also turned with ugly conditions hampering the entire field. 

Having gone 29 holes without dropping a shot, the 2013 Open champion finally had some blue on his scorecard, after bogeying the 12th following a missed fairway. 

Others on the course were also suffering, with German Martin Kaymer triple-bogeying the 10th following some poor play on the outskirts of the green. 

Martin Kaymer struggled on the back-nine (image source: Stuart Franklin / Staff - Getty Images)

Mickelson though hit back, making his second birdie of the week at the 14th, before then losing a shot on the 15th as he closed his round with three straight pars to remain at 10-under par through 36 holes. 

Kjeldsen within three of the lead as best of other early finishers

Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen is just three shots behind Mickelson going into the weekend after carding a round of 68 to move to seven-under par for the championship. 

Fellow Scandanavian Henrik Stenson looked somewhere near his best and was within two shots of Mickelson nearing the end of his round, with Zach Johnson a further two shots behind. 

Mickelson's playing partners did not enjoy as much success, with Lee Westwood finishing two-over par, and Ernie Els five-over par through 36 holes, and both in danger of missing the cut. 

Friday afternoon's conditions may see gusts of up to 35mph, and it will take an inspired round for anyone to move ahead of Mickelson going into Saturday's play.