• Rose, Lowry, McDowell & Palmer all in group on eight-under
• Luiten shoots 63 - Gallacher and Poulter both miss cut
Englishman Daniel Brooks leads the Scottish Open by three shots heading into the weekend after following up his first round 64 with a 65 on Friday.
The 28-year-old set the tone for his round with an eagle at the par-5 second before a birdie-birdie finish saw him through in 32.
Brooks’ current position at the summit of the leaderboard is all the more impressive given that he’d missed 13 consecutive cuts on the European Tour before last week’s top 20 finish at the French Open.
"I played really solid and didn’t miss many shots at all" - Daniel Brooks
“I played really solid and didn’t miss many shots at all,” said Daniel Brooks. “Bad tee shot on the fourth hole where I made bogey but other than that, everything else has been really good. Had ten, 12, 15-foot putts all day for birdie and not managed to hole many of them, but having that number on the day is nice.”
Lying in wait behind Brooks heading into the weekend is a group of six players on eight-under-par, which includes defending champion Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Shane Lowry, Ryan Palmer, Johan Carlsson and Matthew Nixon.
Despite being in that pack, 2013 US Open champion Rose was a little disappointed with his back nine and feels his overall game can be improved.
“It dried up a little on the back nine,” admitted Rose, who made all pars on the back nine. “Missed a few too many fairways on the left. Still managed to get the ball within birdie range, but I just couldn’t find the putt.
“I would say I’m sort of running about 50% because there are some loose shots I’m getting away with on this golf course. Some other courses might not let you get away with it so there’s definitely some room for improvement.”
Lowry, who has top ten finishes at the US Open and BMW PGA Championship to his name this season, was also delighted with his day’s work.
“I’ve played nicely the last couple of days – given myself a lot of chances. I’m in a really good position going into the weekend so I’ll see what I can do tomorrow and hopefully I’ll have a chance on Sunday.”
There were reasonably quiet days for American trio Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar (both two-under) and Jimmy Walker (par), while five-time major winner Phil Mickelson scraped into the weekend courtesy of three birdies in his final five holes.
Joost Luiten fired in the round of the day, matching the 63 posted by Thorbjorn Olesen yesterday – with the Dane missing the cut following a round of 77 – while Scots Paul Lawrie (six-under), Russell Knox (five-under), David Drysdale (four-under), Marc Warren (three-under) and Craig Lee (two-under) have all made it through to the weekend.
Some high-profile casualties at the halfway stage include Stephen Gallacher, who rued a bogey miss at the last, Ian Poulter, who tweeted that it was a ‘disgraceful missed cut’, Thomas Bjorn and Colin Montgomerie.
Scottish Open :: Who will win?
Now we’re at the halfway stage, who do you think will win the Scottish Open? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.