Chris Doak, ranked No. 341, was the surprise leader at the halfway point after a second consecutive 6-under-par 66s left him on 12-under 132, while Matthew Southgate (64) was in a tie for second place with Ross Fisher (65), Peter Uihlein (66) and JB Hansen (65) a stroke back.
Conditions were ripe for low scoring on the Castle Stuart links but Els struggled on the greens and shot 72-70 to miss the cut by two shots a week before he defends his British Open title.
“I had no idea on these greens – I’m glad I’m leaving,” said Els, who still felt his game is in good shape heading to Muirfield.
Mickelson, another four-time major winner, was tied for third after a first-round 66 but dropped after 70.
Former Augusta State golfer Scott Jamieson missed the cut after rounds of 70-80.
LPGA TOUR: In Waterloo, Ontario, Angela Stanford and Catriona Matthew shot eight-under 63s to share the first-round lead at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, two strokes ahead of top-ranked Inbee Park.
Park is trying to become the first golfer to win four straight LPGA Tour events since Lorena Ochoa in 2008.
Park was joined by American Irene Cho, Spain’s Belen Mozo and South Korea’s Hee Young Park and Meena Lee at 65. American Ryann O’Toole and South Koreans Jenny Shin, Amy Yang and Ji Young Oh were three shots off the lead at 66.
Defending champion Brittany Lang opened with a 69.
Stanford closed her late-evening round with three straight birdies to join Matthew atop the leaderboard under mostly sunny skies at Grey Silo Golf Course
Players took advantage of soft conditions early in the day on the 6,330-yard course. Aggressive approach shots were rewarded before the greens started to dry up in the afternoon.
WEB.COM TOUR: In Sandy, Utah, Chad Collins, who started his round on No. 10, shot 9-under 27 on that side. After birdies on Nos. 2 and 3, he was at 11-under, needed to play the final seven holes in 1-under to shoot 59.
He parred Nos. 4 through 18 for his 60. Aiken’s Kevin Kisner shot 66 and is at 137. Augusta’s Scott Parel missed the cut, which fell at ...., after rounds of 70-69–139.