Jimenez takes 36-hole lead; Woods 1 back


On another day of firm and fast conditions along the Scottish coast, scores once again ballooned in the second round of the British Open. Here's how things shape up heading into the third round Saturday at Muirfield, where Miguel Angel Jimenez will begin with a one-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Miguel Angel Jimenez (-3), Tiger Woods (-2), Lee Westwood (-2), Dustin Johnson (-2), Henrik Stenson (-2), Angel Cabrera (-1), Zach Johnson (-1), Martin Laird (-1), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (-1)

What it means: With dry conditions continuing to push the course toward the brink of unplayable, many of the game's best struggled as a new wind direction emerged Friday. Birdies were hard to come by on glass-like greens, and any score in the neighborhood of par was seen as a victory. Jimenez made his way around the links venue in even-par 71, and as a result holds a slim lead over a host of worthy contenders.

Round of the day: Out in the morning wave, Westwood was essentially the only player to make a significant birdie run during the second round, carding red figures on five of his first nine holes amid an outward 31. Though he stumbled somewhat coming home, with bogeys on three of his final six holes, Westwood's 3-under 68 still matched the lowest score shot on Friday and put the Englishman firmly in contention heading into the weekend.

Best of the rest: Playing alongside Westwood, Charl Schwartzel made an impressive comeback with a 68 of his own Friday. A day after snapping his 6-iron in frustration on the 15th hole, the former Masters champion carded four birdies while dropping only a single shot during the second round. At 1-over 143, the South African is now very much in the mix with 36 holes to go, only four shots off the lead, after appearing to be headed toward a missed cut Thursday afternoon.

Biggest disappointment: Unable to rebound from an opening 79, Rory McIlroy carded a 4-over 75 Friday to miss the cut by several shots. The Ulsterman was never able to get on track this week, making nearly as many double bogeys (3) as birdies (5) across 36 holes. He was far from the only notable name to miss the cut, though, as Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney, Luke Donald and Jim Furyk were all sent packing Friday after a disappointing week.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: While Jimenez rightfully will receive attention as the sole leader, the larger story is the group chasing him. A pack of players at 2-under is headlined by Woods, hoping to end a five-year major drought after a solid 71 Friday, as well as Westwood and Johnson, two of the best players without a major title to their credit. Cabrera serves as an always-intriguing wild card, looking to become just the fourth player to win three of the four majors since 1980.

Shot of the day: Playing the 15th hole, bomber Robert Garrigus hit a mammoth drive nearly 400 yards, with the ball coming to rest just a few paces off the green. It left Garrigus with an eagle putt of more than 100 feet, one which he surprisingly holed in a shot that you typically see only on a links course. The eagle was a rare highlight for Garrigus, though, as he made just one birdie across 36 holes and was sent home after rounds of 78 and 75.

Quote of the day: 'It was too much course for me today.' –  Phil Mickelson, who will begin the weekend four shots off the lead after a 3-over 74 that included a four-putt on the 16th hole.