Snedeker early Friday posted a bogey-free, 6-under-par 64, which tied the record at the Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club. That put him at 10-under 130, which tied Nick Faldo's British Open record for low 36-hole score.
Snedeker's 64 matched the mark tied early Thursday by Adam Scott. Like Scott, Snedeker then watched through the day to see if his lead would stand.
Scott had a 3-under 67 Friday, including a birdie at 18 that pulled him within one of Snedeker at 9-under overall. Only one player was closer than four strokes of the leaders.
That was Tiger Woods, whose chip-in for birdie from a deep bunker at the 18th hole gave him a second consecutive 3-under 67. That left him in third, four strokes behind Snedeker.
Thorbjorn Olesen closed with consecutive birdies for a 4-under 66 and a 36-hole total of 5-under 135.
Five golfers are tied for fifth at 4-under. That included Jason Dufner, who also shot 66 Friday, and Matt Kuchar, who had a second-round 67. Also in that group are Paul Lawrie (71 Friday), Graeme McDowell (69) and Thomas Aiken (68).
Snedeker opened his Friday round with a birdie at the par-3 first and finished the first side with three birdies in the last four holes. That included a 2 at the par-3 ninth.
Snedeker added birdies at 11 and 12 -- another par 3 -- and then has six consecutive pars.
The cut was at 3-over 143. A 36th-hole birdie by five-time British Open champion Tom Watson pulled him to 3-over but defending champion Darren Clarke (147) and Phil Mickelson (151) were among those who missed the cut.