1. Stenson makes a charge
After Phil Mickelson's 63 on Thursday, his lead seemed secure and there was a chance he could run away with the tournament. But Henrik Stenson came out firing in round two, carding a blistering 65 that leaves him just one shot behind Lefty going into the weekend.
Stenson already has three top-3 finishes at the Open, most recently in 2013 when he was runner-up to none other than Phil Mickelson.
The key for Stenson this week has been finding greens in regulation, a statistic in he leads the field. If he hits 31 of 36 greens in regulation on the weekend like he has these first two days, he has a good chance to hoist the Claret Jug.
2. Players with afternoon tee times struggled
The organization of the tee times has an effect on every golf tournament, but nowhere is it more important than at the Open Championship.
Players who had afternoon tee times on day one played on a golf course with absolutely no wind. Those advantageous conditions yielded low scores, such as Phil Mickelson's impressive 63. This same group of players received a huge advantage on Friday, teeing off in the morning in a light wind and rain that may have been uncomfortable but softened the course considerably. All 10 of Friday's rounds in the 60's came from those that teed off in the morning.
The group that teed off in the morning on day one and afternoon of day two found themselves fighting the worst of the conditions. There aren't any players from this grouping in the top 14 on the leaderboard. The closest to the lead are Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed, who find themselves eight shots off the lead.
3. Misery loves company
Calling the weather "a slight disadvantage" to those with Friday afternoon tee times is a huge understatement. With gusts reaching 35 miles per hour at some points and rain coming in sideways, those that had to make tracks around the course in the afternoon were not exactly enjoying themselves.
But incredibly, or perhaps predictably, the weather did little to deter the number of spectators on the golf course. Despite the wet and cold conditions, fans were still huddled around the holes on the back nine as light faded on Friday evening and most of the big-name players had finished.
4. The stars are struggling
There's some debate over who's in "The Big Three" or "The Fab Four" or whatever catch phrase we're using these days. But all six of the top players in the world rankings find themselves outside of the top 10 and no closer than eight shots from the lead at the Open heading into the weekend.
Jason Day actually had one of the best rounds of anyone with an afternoon tee times Friday, but his 70 only brought him to one-over for the tournament, 11 shots removed from Mickelson's lead. Red-hot Dustin Johnson found himself on the right side of the weather, yet only turned in a two-under par total.
Jordan Spieth struggled mightily with both the weather and his putter, and fought along the cut line for his entire round before shooting a 75 and coming in right on the cut number at plus-four. Rory McIlroy's strong opening round buffered his second round 71 and kept him within striking distance at minus-two.
Friday gave us the full Bubba Watson experience, as he pulled off some incredible shots but also posted some high numbers that ultimately placed him right under the cut line with a birdie on 18. Finally, Rickie Fowler did well just to hang on in the whipping winds and post a 72 that has him at one-under going into the weekend.
It seems unlikely that this year's "champion golfer of the year" will come from this marquee group of stars.
The 123-yard signature hole at Royal Troon never disappoints.
We saw three really good chances at holes-in-one from Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, and Jim Furyk. We saw players like Jordan Spieth and Danny Willett find bunkers and not be able to get out. And we saw players find the bunkers and pull off incredible recovery shots, like Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson.