Sun, Jul 13, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Ernie Els widens lead in Scotland


Ernie Els after playing his shot on the 6th at the Scottish Open golf tournament in Loch Lomond, Scotland, Friday.


Ernie Els doubled his lead to four strokes with a four-under-par 67 in the Scottish Open Friday and insisted he was trying not to regard the tournament as a workout for next week's British Open.

The British Open champion has an 11-under-par total of 131. Welshman Phillip Price and Terry Price from Australia, no relation, share second place on 135, both after shooting 68s.

Tim Clark of South Africa held fourth spot following a second successive 68.

John Daly shot the day's best score, a five-under-par 66, after what he called his "best ball-striking round since I won the BMW International in 2001."

"And I missed seven other putts of six feet or less," Daly added. "The greens are fine, just wet. I'm not hitting good putts."

Considering he began with a seven at the first hole Thursday before rain forced the players off, Daly has battled back well. He stands at two under par, the highlight of his round being an eagle at the third. He's joint 15th.

Els again had to survive persistent rain, although it was never enough to force any stoppages after the four-hour delay on Thursday. He has no fear of front-running.

"I've been in this position quite a few times, so I kind of know what I have to do. I have to go out there and play my game and try to broaden my lead if I can.

Phil Mickelson improved eight strokes to a three-under-par 68 and had a wait of several hours to be sure he had made the halfway cut. He did, with one shot to spare.

"I want to have a few more competitive rounds going into the Open Championship," he said.

"I hit a lot of good shots. But I made four bogeys and missed a couple of short birdie putts. I had a potential very low round."

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