Date: July 15, 2016
Author: Martin Blake, Royal Troon

Chalmers hangs tough as Phil sizzles

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As Phil Mickelson continued to surge away from the field in the Open Championship, Perth's Greg Chalmers gave himself a chance of playing some more golf over the weekend.

Chalmers carded a second-round 71, even-par today after hitting off in the first group at 6.35am, and at one-over overall was just outside the cut line when he signed his card, hoping and expecting that the tougher weather conditions in the afternoon would help his cause.

“I've got a few people (here),” said Chalmers, “I'd be really pleased to make the cut and play some more golf, because some of them have flown all the way from Perth, my in-laws. So it would be kind of nice if I didn't come here and miss a cut.”

Chalmers continues to play nicely after his groundbreaking win in the United States a couple of weeks ago.

“I was trying to keep the ball on the ground, a lot of different yardages, a lot of different planning, but it wasn't hard to adjust,” said Chalmers, who made a second consecutive birdie on the legendary Postage Stamp.

“The general plan is to stay the hell out of the bunkers and I did that for the most part. I think I hit it in one fairway bunker, and that cost me. I had to go backwards, it was buried in the face.''

The two-time Emirates Australian Open champion can now play in the upcoming US PGA Championship, has a good chance of reaching the US Tour playoffs and will be back home for the Open at Royal Sydney this year as well as the Australian PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, Mickelson followed up his record-equalling first round of 63 with a fine front nine this morning, extending his lead to five shots at one point when he picked up a third birdie for the day at the eight, the Postage Stamp, with a drop-dead gorgeous tee shot that almost spun into the hole.

It took until the 12th hole for the 2013 champ to make his first blemish for the tournament after pulling his tee shot right.

But at 10 under overall, three shots ahead, he’s threatening the 36-hole Open scoring record of 130. He needs a 66 today to beat that record, held by Brandt Snedeker and Nick Faldo.

Australia's Adam Scott also is on the course in his second round, but making no ground on the leaders. Scott made pars at each of the first eight holes today, and is two-under overall, eight shots from the lead.

South Australia's Nick Cullen had a disappointing day, carding a 74 and at eight over, will miss the cut.

World No. 1 Jason Day watched the gap between himself and the leaders grow without even stepping on to the course. At two over, the Queenslander needs to pick up a couple of shots later today to have a chance of making the cut.

Day tees off at 2.26pm local time.