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Last Updated: Friday, 16 July, 2004, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Kendall claims halfway lead
By Rob Hodgetts
BBC Sport at Royal Troon

R2 leaderboard
Scott Kendall
-7 S Kendall (US)
-6 T Levet (Fra)
-5 B Lane (Eng), KJ Choi (Kor)
-4 M Campbell (NZ), V Singh (Fij), T Hamilton (US), E Els (SA), C Montgomerie (Sco)
American journeyman Skip Kendall tied the best round of the day to take the 36-hole Open lead at Royal Troon.

The 39-year-old carded a 66 to overhaul co-overnight leader Thomas Levet, who was one shot back after a round of 70.

Experienced Englishman Barry Lane (68) climbed to five under alongside Korea's KJ Choi (69) with an all-star line-up massing at four under.

Colin Montgomerie, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els were in that group with Tiger Woods three shots adrift.

Montgomerie handed in a 69 after three-putting the 18th, while Fiji's Singh took 70 and South Africa's Els carded a second 69.

Also on four under were New Zealander Michael Campbell (71) and American Todd Hamilton (67).

Kendall fired four birdies and an eagle at the 16th to match the round of countryman Phil Mickelson, who climbed to three under.

"I really wasn't paying much attention to the leaderboards out there. It was a lot of fun," said Kendall.

"I was just real calm, very relaxed, going through the motions and not paying attention to a lot of things that you probably get caught up in.

"If I can play golf, [remember] they're my clubs and have fun I'll be fine."

Alongside Mickelson, the Masters champion, was US Open winner Retief Goosen (70), former Masters holder Mike Weir (68), and Americans Scott Verplank (70) and Kenny Perry (70).

England's Paul Casey, who shared the lead with Levet at five under overnight, endured a miserable round to slump to one over after a troublesome 77.

Woods, meanwhile, threatened one of his legendary charges after picking up two shots in his first six holes but promptly handed both back before the turn and parred his way home for a level-par 71.

Among those to miss the cut, which came at three-over-par, were defending champion Ben Curtis, triple winner Nick Faldo, former US Open champion Jim Furyk, Ireland's Padraig Harrington, Welshman Phillip Price and Spain's Sergio Garcia.


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Interview: Skip Kendall





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