British Open leaderboard 2014: Phil Mickelson makes early Friday move at Royal Liverpool

Tom Pennington

The wind is up at Royal Liverpool, but defending champ Phil Mickelson is making a charge up the leaderboard, thanks to a couple amazing recovery shots.

The conditions are much more difficult on Friday morning at the Open Championship, but Phil Mickelson is making an early move after two remarkable recovery approach shots at the fourth and fifth hole. Mickelson said on Thursday that his first round featured some of his best golf in almost a year, it's just that his score, a 2-over 74, didn't show it. The defending champ was out in the afternoon, when only Adam Scott was able to post a score comparable to all the lower numbers we saw in the morning wave.

Phil's half of the draw was also supposed to get the tougher conditions again on Friday, one of those Open quirks that so often seems to affect a player's chances, based purely on luck of the tee time. But as long as the wind stays up for the afternoon players, Tiger and Rory among them, Phil would probably prefer that course play as tough as possible. That typically rewards a good round and solid play with a big jump up the leaderboard, as opposed to more benign conditions where a player can sneak through some shaky form and still post a number.

And Phil is making his move early on the front nine of a his second round, nearly holing out for eagle on No. 4 and then rolling in an eagle on No. 5. After a wayward tee shot at the fourth, Phil needed to work a little magic and loft one from some junk up and over the pin. He somehow put a ton of English on it, and nearly spun it right back into the cup.

After giving a shot back at the third, that tap-in birdie would get him back to level for the day.

On the next hole, an easier par-5, Phil sent his drive way right. Mickelson had a pretty tough lie and limited options, but pulled off an amazing punch shot out of the fescue that ran all the way up onto the green and well within eagle range. He'd convert the moderate-length putt from about 12 feet to get to 2-under on the day, one of the best early scores of the round. The start has pushed him 40 spots up the leaderboard.

One player who has taken a step back in the tough AM conditions is Scott, the only guy who was able to actually post a good round on Thursday afternoon in the tougher setup. But Scott's two dropped shots have little to do with the increased wind. The putter has always been the weak spot of Scott's otherwise world class game, and he made bogeys at Nos. 2 and 3 thanks to a some missed short ones with that club. He's back at 2-under and has plenty of time to get it back on track, but he was the one guy you expected to emerge from this half of the draw. Scott is probably the best tee-to-green player in the world, but those shaky putting strokes popping up so early in the round is never a good sign.

Here's the early Friday leaderboard around Mickelson and Scott:

Place Player Score Today Thru
1 Rory McIlroy -6 - 9:27 AM
2 Matteo Manassero -5 - 8:05 AM
T3 Edoardo Molinari -4 - 7:21 AM
T3 Brooks Koepka -4 - 7:21 AM
T3 Francesco Molinari -4 - 7:54 AM
T3 Jim Furyk -4 - 8:27 AM
T3 Sergio Garcia -4 - 8:38 AM
T3 Shane Lowry -4 E 1
T3 George Coetzee -4 -2 13
T10 Robert Karlsson -3 - 6:26 AM
T10 Marc Leishman -3 - 6:59 AM
T10 Koumei Oda -3 - 7:10 AM
T10 Rickie Fowler -3 - 8:38 AM
T10 Tiger Woods -3 - 9:05 AM
T10 Hideki Matsuyama -3 - 9:27 AM
T10 Jimmy Walker -3 - 9:38 AM
T10 Yoshinobu Tsukada -3 - 11:06 AM
T10 Rafael Cabrera Bello -3 -1 1
T19 Freddie Jacobson -2 - 7:32 AM
T19 Ashley Chesters -2 - 7:32 AM
T19 Ryan Moore -2 - 7:54 AM
T19 Mikko Ilonen -2 - 8:05 AM
T19 Thomas Bjorn -2 - 8:16 AM
T19 Louis Oosthuizen -2 - 9:49 AM
T19 Stephen Gallacher -2 - 10:00 AM
T19 David Hearn -2 - 10:11 AM
T19 Kristoffer Broberg -2 - 10:44 AM
T19 Bill Haas -2 E 7
T19 Thongchai Jaidee -2 -2 7
T43 Martin Kaymer E -1 7
T19 Adam Scott -2 2 4
T31 Dawie Van Der Walt -1 - 6:37 AM
T31 Matt Jones -1 - 6:48 AM
T31 Erik Compton -1 - 6:59 AM
T31 Ben Martin -1 - 7:10 AM
T31 Branden Grace -1 - 7:32 AM
T31 Stewart Cink -1 - 8:16 AM
T31 Charl Schwartzel -1 - 9:16 AM
T31 Jordan Spieth -1 - 9:27 AM
T31 Dustin Johnson -1 - 9:38 AM
T31 Hunter Mahan -1 - 10:00 AM
T31 Marc Warren -1 - 10:33 AM
T43 David Howell E - 6:26 AM
T43 Bernd Wiesberger E - 6:48 AM
T43 Hyung-Sung Kim E - 6:59 AM
T43 Kiradech Aphibarnrat E - 7:21 AM
T43 Darren Clarke E - 8:27 AM
T43 Harris English E - 8:54 AM
T43 Henrik Stenson E - 9:05 AM
T43 K.J. Choi E - 9:16 AM
T43 Rhein Gibson E - 10:55 AM
T43 Brian Harman E - 10:55 AM
T43 Byeong-Hun An E - 6:05 AM
T43 Brendon Todd E -1 12
T43 Kevin Stadler E -1 11
T43 Boo Weekley E 3 9
T43 Chris Kirk E 1 8
T64 Jason Day 1 E 7
T43 Yusaku Miyazato E E 6
T43 Phil Mickelson E -2 6
T43 Justin Rose E E 4
T43 Jason Dufner E 2 4
T64 Lee Westwood 1 2 4
T31 Keegan Bradley -1 -2 4
T43 John Senden E 1 3
T64 David Duval 1 - 6:26 AM
T64 Tom Watson 1 - 8:27 AM
T64 Luke Donald 1 - 8:38 AM
T64 Ian Poulter 1 - 9:38 AM
T64 Matt Kuchar 1 - 9:49 AM
T64 Oscar Floren 1 - 11:06 AM
T64 Richard Sterne 1 - 5:32 AM
T64 Billy Hurley III 1 - 5:54 AM
T64 Rhys Enoch 1 - 5:54 AM
T64 Chris Rodgers 1 - 6:05 AM
T64 Jamie McLeary 1 E 17
T64 Hiroshi Iwata 1 3 17
T64 D.A. Points 1 -2 14
T64 Scott Stallings 1 -2 13
T64 Kevin Streelman 1 1 12
T64 Gary Woodland 1 -2 11
T64 J.B. Holmes 1 -1 9
T84 Zach Johnson 2 3 7
T84 Zach Johnson 2 3 7
T84 Cameron Tringale 2 - 6:37 AM
T84 Justin Leonard 2 - 7:43 AM
T84 Ben Curtis 2 - 7:43 AM
T84 Paul Casey 2 - 8:54 AM
T84 Padraig Harrington 2 - 9:16 AM
T84 Graeme McDowell 2 - 9:49 AM
T84 Victor Dubuisson 2 - 10:00 AM
T84 Ryan Palmer 2 - 10:22 AM
T84 Charley Hoffman 2 E 13
T84 Brandt Snedeker 2 E 10
T84 Bubba Watson 2 -2 5
T84 Billy Horschel 2 1 5
T84 Ross Fisher 2 E 2
T98 Chris Wood 3 - 6:48 AM
T98 Anirban Lahiri 3 - 7:10 AM
T98 Thorbjorn Olesen 3 - 7:54 AM
T98 Matt Every 3 - 8:54 AM
T98 Brett Rumford 3 - 10:22 AM
T98 Hyung-Tae Kim 3 - 10:55 AM
T98 Gregory Bourdy 3 - 5:43 AM
T98 Nick Watney 3 3 15
T98 Shawn Stefani 3 2 15
T98 Cheng Tsung Pan 3 1 10
T98 Miguel Jimenez 3 E 7
T98 Webb Simpson 3 -1 6
T98 Russell Henley 3 E 5
T98 Tommy Fleetwood 3 1 2
T112 Jonas Blixt 4 1 9
T112 Angel Cabrera 4 - 9:05 AM
T112 Nick Faldo 4 - 10:11 AM
T112 Tomohiro Kondo 4 - 10:22 AM
T112 Juvic Pagunsan 4 - 10:44 AM
T112 Paul McKechnie 4 - 10:44 AM
T112 George McNeill 4 - 5:32 AM
T112 Matthew Baldwin 4 - 5:43 AM
T112 Brendon de Jonge 4 -2 12
T112 Danny Willett 4 2 9
T112 Gonzalo Fdez-Castano 4 2 5
T112 Ryo Ishikawa 4 2 4
T112 Kevin Na 4 E 3
T125 Todd Hamilton 5 - 10:11 AM
T125 Peter Uihlein 5 - 10:33 AM
T125 Jin Jeong 5 - 5:43 AM
T125 Justin Walters 5 - 5:54 AM
T125 Scott Jamieson 5 - 6:05 AM
T125 Graham Delaet 5 6 10
T131 Paul Dunne 6 3 2
T131 Masanori Kobayashi 6 - 6:37 AM
T131 Patrick Reed 6 - 8:16 AM
T131 John Singleton 6 - 10:33 AM
T131 John Daly 6 1 2
T136 Paul Lawrie 7 - 7:43 AM
T136 Bradley Neil 7 - 8:05 AM
T136 Chris Stroud 7 - 5:32 AM
T136 Tyrrell Hatton 7 4 16
T136 Victor Riu 7 5 16
T136 Y.E. Yang 7 4 14
T136 Pablo Larrazabal 7 4 13
T136 A-Shun Wu 7 4 9
T136 Jamie Donaldson 7 E 6
T136 Mark Wiebe 7 E 1
T146 Brendan Steele 8 6 14
T146 Chesson Hadley 8 1 1
T148 Chris Hanson 9 - 11:06 AM
T148 Roberto Castro 9 7 16
T148 Ernie Els 9 2 5
T148 Joost Luiten 9 E 3
152 Matthew Southgate 11 3 17
153 Dong-Kyu Jang 12 6 15
154 Sandy Lyle 15 5 11
155 Bryden Macpherson 23 5 13
- Michael Hoey 6 3 WD

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