Stephen Ames sits T3 at the Senior British Open

AUCHTERARDER, SCOTLAND- JULY 22: Stephen Ames of Canada in action during Day Two of The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at The King's Course, Gleneagles on July 22, 2022 in Auchterarder, Scotland , United Kingdom. (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

GLENEAGLES, Scotland (AP) – Chasing a maiden senior major title, Darren Clarke opened a two-shot lead at the Senior British Open after the second round at Gleneagles Friday.

Clarke, from Northern Ireland, shot a 3-under 67 that left him alone on top of the leaderboard, at 8 under. He had two bogeys and a birdie on the front nine but an excellent back nine punctuated by four birdies.

“Around the front nine today, I was so-so,” Clarke said. “My right foot slipped a couple of times but apart from that I played really nicely.”

Scott Parel of the United States was two back after an up and down 68.

A group of seven players with nine major championships between them was three strokes off the lead. It included four-time winner Bernhard Langer, Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, David Frost, 2016 champion Paul Broadhurst, Stephen Ames and Jerry Kelly.

Colin Montgomerie, 2018 champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, Miguel Angel Martin, Steven Alker and Glen Day were four shots off the lead.