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Doak Takes Over Lead in Scottish Open
Chris Doak fired his second straight 6-under 66 to assume the lead in his home country's national golf championship, the Scottish Open. The European Tour event is taking place at Castle Stuart Golf Links in Inverness.
Doak, a 35-year-old from Glasgow, carded five birdies, an eagle on the par-5 12th hole and a bogey to reach 12-under 132 after 36 holes, one shot ahead of Denmark's JB Hansen (65), Brits Ross Fisher (65) and Matthew Southgate (64), and American Peter Uihlein (66).
Doak, whose only pro win came on the Challenge Tour's Allianz Open de Lyon in 2012, is happy with his position heading into the weekend. "I feel it's been coming, the swing's been coming on the mental side so whether it's this week, next week or the week after, it's definitely on the right track," he told BBC Radio Scotland.
"I played well last at the French Open, and that was a tough course. So I knew it was coming and it's great that it's happened here."
Uihlein, a former All-American at Oklahoma State and the 2010 U.S. Amateur champion, carded six birdies on the front nine and two more on the back. He dropped two shots, however, on the 12th. The 23-year-old from Massachusetts likes that he can be aggressive at the Castle Stuart course.
"Depending on hole locations and wind, you can really get after it out here," said Uihlein who, after opting to play on the European Tour instead of qualifying for the PGA Tour, logged his first win overseas in May's Madeira Islands Open in Portugal. "You can definitely attack and make some birdies and I've been putting well so it's been nice."
Sharing sixth at 134 are England's James Morrison (68) and first-round co-leader Simon Khan, who followed up his opening 65 with a 69. Also at 134 are Frenchman Victor Dubuisson (66), Italy's Lorenzo Gagli (67) and Sweden's Henrik Stenson (64).
Khan's fellow co-leader starting play Friday, John Parry of England, posted a 72 and is tied for 13th at 136 with 10 other players. Also in that group is Phil Mickelson, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 8. Lefty followed up his opening 66 with a 70.
The weekend cut was set at 4-under 140 Among the players heading home are major champions Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and South Africa's Ernie Els.
Els would have preferred to make it to the weekend rounds but the two extra days give him a bit more time to practice in defense of his British Open title. The year's fourth major begins next week at Muirfield.
Els said missing the cut was "not great" but added, "My game is where I want it to be. I thought I played quite well today but I had no idea on these greens so I am glad I am leaving to get on some other greens. I did not get the run of the course - it felt like it was against me, but I am playing nicely and gave myself a lot of opportunities. It's not the first cut I've missed and it won't be the last."
Defending champion Jeev Mikha Singh of India ended up at 3-under and missed the cut by a stroke.
For all the scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2013/tournamentid=2013054/leaderboard/index.html.