Els misses cut, Mickelson drops back as Doak leads Scottish Open on home soil

  • Article by: STEVE DOUGLAS , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 12, 2013 - 7:08 PM

INVERNESS, Scotland — Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson endured frustrating second rounds at the Scottish Open as the tournament's headline acts were upstaged by some lesser-known players on Friday.

Chris Doak, ranked No. 341, was the surprise leader at the halfway stage of his home event after a second straight 66 left him at 12-under 132.

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 foundered on the greens and could only shoot a 2-under 70 to miss the cut a week before he defends his British Open title.

Mickelson, another four-time major winner, was tied for third after his first-round 66 but dropped back into a tie for 13th after a 70.

"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.

Past British Open winners Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington joined Els in missing the weekend and defending Scottish Open champion Jeev Milkha Singh won't be around either after a second-round 74.

That put the Indian on 3 under — a shot below the cut, which was the lowest this season on the European Tour.

It leaves Mickelson as the biggest draw for the galleries for the final two rounds and he said he is poised to make a charge in his bid to capture his first title on links.

"I was just a little bit off," said the eighth-ranked American, who started off with a bogey for the second straight round but wowed the crowd with a wonderful lob shot onto the third green to set up one of his four birdies. "But I'm in a position where if I get a hot round, I can make up the ground."

The last Scot to win his national Open was Colin Montgomerie in 1999 — but Doak has a great chance to end that barren run.

Wearing his signature flat cap in honor of his idol Ben Hogan, the 35-year-old Glaswegian thrilled the locals on a sunny, calm morning by the Moray Firth by making three birdies in the first six holes and then adding two more as well as an eagle 3 at No. 12.

He has flitted between the European Tour and second-tier Challenge Tour in recent years, but his resume is littered with triumphs on the Highlands links in his younger days. And he gained confidence by qualifying for last month's U.S. Open.

"That experience all in all was great and spurs you on to get back there," said Doak, one of 19 Scots in the 156-man field.

Likewise, Southgate is in uncharted territory after his 64, the lowest round of the week. But he is a dangerous links player owing to his membership at Carnoustie — arguably the toughest of the nine courses on the British Open rota — that he was given for a birthday present as a 16-year-old.

"Every player needs a big break — this could be mine," said the 24-year-old Englishman, who worked in a snooker hall six years ago to pay his way as his golf career struggled to get going.

"Where other people may feel a bit uncomfortable bouncing it 20 yards short of the green or hitting this little shot, that little shot, I just step up, see it and play it. It's a shame we don't play more links golf. If the wind picks up, I'll take that."

Els was a late entrant into the tournament as he sought some links practice ahead of Muirfield — where he won the British Open in 2002 and where he will defend the title captured last year at Lytham.

Off the tee, the South African has played solidly this week but he has struggled on the greens and some of his approach shots haven't been up to his usual standard. He doesn't, however, see this as a problem ahead of next week and his shot at a third claret jug.

"These courses are so different — Muirfield is a lot more traditional links," Els said. "I got a lot of awkward bounces this week but I feel I'm swinging well, striking the ball well.

"I think my game is where I want it."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 14 3rd Qtr 11:05
Seattle 17
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close