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“I certainly am looking forward to links golf,” Mickelson said. “I enjoy playing the ball on the ground and hitting it — you know, trying to keep it below head high on some tee shots and so forth. That was fun last year when we had some terrible weather. And it will hopefully play to one of my strengths, which is short game, and I’ll try to get that sharp heading into the British.”

Among those still on the course when play was stopped was Martin Flores, who was a stroke back at 8 under with two holes left. The round was delayed more than two hours earlier in the day because of thunderstorms.

Rookie Charlie Beljan (62), Jonathan Byrd (68), Jeff Maggert (68) and Jerry Kelly (66) also were 8 under.

Beljan had his career-best round, carding five birdies over a seven-hole stretch before making before a bogey on his final hole, the par-4 ninth. His best finish this year is a tie for 29th two week ago in Connecticut in the Travelers Championship.

“Today was the best day of my career,” said Beljan, making his first visit to a PGA Tour media room. “I look forward to the weekend. I’m sure it’s going to be a zoo.”

Being near the top of the leaderboard certain fits Beljan’s philosophy of a high-energy life. One of his goals is to be strapped to the wing of a biplane in flight. Another is to ride a motorcycle in the Isle of Man TT Race.

“I like getting my heart beating,” he said. “I like the adrenaline.”

Byrd has been battling illness the past three weeks.

“They always say beware of the sick golfer or the injured golfer,” Byrd said. “Obviously I would rather be feeling healthier.”

First-round leader Vijah Singh shot 74 to drop six strokes back.