The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Els looms large over rivals

Loch Lomond, July 12 (Reuters): Ernie Els maintained his impressive British Open build-up with a four-under-par 67 in the Scottish Open second round on Friday, stretching his lead to four shots.

Two clear overnight after a blemish-free 64 in Thursdayís rain-disrupted conditions, Els mixed five birdies with a bogey to end another damp day at Loch Lomond on 11-under 131.

The British Open champion reeled off three consecutive birdies from the par-three fifth to reach the turn in three-under 33.

Although he dropped his only shot of the day at the 415-yard 12th to slip back to nine under, the South African strengthened his grip on the tournament with further birdies on 13 and 14.

Britainís Phillip Price and Australiaís Terry Price shot matching 68s to share second place at seven-under 135.

The halfway cut was made at three-over 145, with 79 players advancing to the third round.

US amateur champion Ricky Barnes and South African Trevor Immelman (both on 146), Britainís Justin Rose (149) and Australian Adam Scott (150) were among those to miss out.

World No. 8 Phil Mickelson make the cut after improving to a 68 on Friday. The American, who had struggled in an opening 76, finished at two-over 144 .

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