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Mickelson didn’t have much to say after his second-round 69, which put him 12 back of Master Rory, but two words he did utter were “flawlessly” and “great.” The first referred to his McIlroy’s ball-striking, the second to his rival’s putting.

McIlroy was a bit dumbfounded himself. You just don’t expect an Open to go this smoothly — hitting 32 of 36 greens, holing out from 114 yards on No. 8, rolling in one putt after another. “I don’t really know what to say,” he said. “It’s been two very, very good days of golf. I put myself in a great position going into the weekend.”

Granted, rain the first two days has made the greens softer and more welcoming, but it’s not like anybody else is shooting 65s and 66s out there. The kid so far has been in a category of his own. And if he stays there, if his time to win a major has truly come, well, Tiger had better heal fast, and he’d better heal well.