Lowry and McDowell tied second in Scotland; Hoey (65) six back

Daniel Brooks. Picture: Getty Images

The Open might be less than a week away but the in-form Shane Lowry and a resurgent Graeme McDowell are focussed on winning the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane.

The pair are tied for second on eight under par, three shots behind the unheralded Englishman Daniel Brooks, who added a 65 to his opening 64 to lead on 11 under.

Both men shot second successive four under par 66s with McDowell particularly pleased to build on his opening round after a poor recent patch that has seen him fall to 52nd in the world.

Insisting he was pleased, McDowell said: "This is what I have been grinding towards the last few months, getting myself on the leaderboard in the weekend, I've missed this. Fun to be hitting it as solidly as I am. Quieter day on the greens today, but stronger finish than yesterday. It all adds up to the same. So I'm happy with where I'm at.

"The greens are fantastic here, they really are some of the best surfaces I've seen this year, probably. They are a nice speed. You feel like you can be aggressive, but yet you are not having to hit them too hard. They are a beautiful speed. The golf course is a nice balance test. You have to drive it well. You have to do a lot of things well. If you can find these small targets, you have an opportunity to make some birdies."

Hoping he can continue to grind out the scores and build up some momentum, he added:  "I think if I can get a few tournaments under my belt feeling as good as I am with my game, get that belief level up. It's still a work in progress, you know.

"Second shot to the last there, there's still that grab in the downswing, just not feeling confident enough to take that aim there. It's still -- we'll chip away at it. I'm liking what I'm seeing, a lot of quality shots, just got to keep doing it.

"I believe it's going to be pretty windy tomorrow. It's important to be there or abouts, at or around the leaders. Hopefully we have a nice start to tomorrow and separate the big boys from the (inaudible). So it should be a lot of fun."

Michael Hoey shot 65 to share 24th, six off the pace on five under with Padraig Harrington a shot further back after a brace of 68s. 

Damien McGrane (69-70) missed the two under cut by one with Paul McGinley also missing out despite recovering well from his first rounds 76 with a 71.

Lowry was ninth in the US Open but he's desperate to get his third win in a professional event and head to St Andrews with a spring in his step.

"I've played nicely the last couple of days. I gave myself a lot of chances. I probably could be a little bit better," :Lowry said. "I'm in a really good position going into the weekend. I hope that no one gets too far ahead this afternoon. See what I can do tomorrow and give myself a chance going into Sunday.

"I've always enjoyed playing links golf. It suits my eye, I think. It's one of those places when I saw it I quite liked it straightaway. I'm showing that on this course the last couple of days.

"It is a fair links golf course. You play well here, you shoot good scores. It's one of those when you hit your tee shot, you know whether it's good or bad or indifferent. You have to hit the ball well off the tee here I think is key and you get chances from there."

Happy to cross his fingers and hope that he can keep his good form going, he added: "Things have been going well for me of late. Everyone knows this game can be tough at times. When you are going well, you need to enjoy them. I am.

"I'm enjoying playing well and I'm enjoying shooting good scores and I'm enjoying competing. That's the main thing. I'm really looking forward to the weekend and getting out there tomorrow late afternoon and hopefully shooting a good score again."

Brooks will carry a three-shot lead into the weekend after a birdie-birdie finish moved the Englishman to 11 under par.

The 28 year old, who won the weather-affected Madeira Islands Open – Portugal last year, has made just four cuts all season, but turned the form book on its head with a stunning round of 65.

Two closing birdies gave Brooks some breathing space at the top of the leaderboard, with the Irish duo of Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell, American Ryan Palmer and defending champion Justin Rose amongst those in a share of second place on eight under par. 

Gullane Golf Club was again bathed in afternoon sunshine, and Brooks took full advantage of the benign conditions with an eagle and four birdies.

He said: “I’ve played really solid for the past two days, and not missed many shots at all. Other than the bogey on the fourth hole, where I hit a poor tee shot, everything else was really good. I had ten to 12 feet putts for birdie all day, and whilst I didn’t manage to make that many of them it’s still a great score. 

“I’ve been playing nicely for the past three weeks now. I just missed the cut in Germany, but played some nice golf. I played well again in France, just made a load of silly mistakes. But I’ve managed to cut them out so far this week, and it’s working out very nicely.

“It’s been hard this season, missing so many cuts. It does get you down, but it only takes one good week out here to turn it around and hopefully that’s what I’ll have.”

Second Round Scores (83 players made the cut on 138)

129 D Brooks (Eng) 64 65, 

132 R Palmer (USA) 67 65, J Carlsson (Swe) 65 67, G McDowell  (Nir) 66 66, J Rose (Eng) 66 66, S Lowry  (Irl) 66 66, M Nixon (Eng) 65 67, 

133 R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 67 66, R Finch  (Eng) 65 68, T Fleetwood  (Eng) 67 66, R McEvoy  (Eng) 66 67, E Grillo (Arg) 66 67, 

134 M Kieffer (Ger) 69 65, G Stal  (Fra) 66 68, G Havret  (Fra) 66 68, J Luiten (Ned) 71 63, S Benson (Eng) 65 69, P Lawrie (Sco) 67 67, A Johnston (Eng) 67 67, M Kuchar  (USA) 66 68, M Fitzpatrick  (Eng) 67 67, R Fowler  (USA) 66 68, M Jiménez (Esp) 69 65, 

135 R Knox (Sco) 67 68, R Fisher (Eng) 70 65, Y Yang (Kor) 68 67, C Tringale  (USA) 68 67, B Martin (USA) 69 66, J Walker  (USA) 65 70, J Van Zyl (RSA) 69 66, M Hoey  (Nir) 70 65, B Grace  (RSA) 69 66, R Jacquelin (Fra) 68 67, 

136 J Senden (Aus) 68 68, V Dubuisson  (Fra) 70 66, M Madsen  (Den) 68 68, T Jaidee (Tha) 67 69, R Rock (Eng) 69 67, M Siem  (Ger) 69 67, A Sullivan (Eng) 68 68, P Harrington (Irl) 68 68, F Zanotti (Par) 69 67, P Oriol (Esp) 67 69, E Pepperell (Eng) 70 66, J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 67 69, L Donald  (Eng) 69 67, D Drysdale (Sco) 71 65, 

137 M Crespi  (Ita) 69 68, J Donaldson (Wal) 70 67, F Aguilar (Chi) 73 64, L Bjerregaard  (Den) 69 68, A Otaegui  (Esp) 65 72, M Foster (Eng) 67 70, J Lando Casanova  (Fra) 71 66, M Warren (Sco) 70 67, S Soderberg (Swe) 68 69, M Lampert (Ger) 71 66, T Aiken (RSA) 69 68, P Mickelson (USA) 69 68, P Larrazábal (Esp) 71 66, M Lorenzo-Vera  (Fra) 67 70, T Hatton (Eng) 68 69, O Schniederjans (am) (USA) 70 67, 

138 R Paratore (Ita) 70 68, E De La Riva  (Esp) 72 66, R Bland (Eng) 70 68, D Berger (USA) 73 65, B Koepka  (USA) 70 68, J Campillo (Esp) 69 69, C Wood  (Eng) 69 69, C Lee (Sco) 72 66, R Karlberg  (Swe) 67 71, G Hutcheon (Sco) 70 68, B Hebert  (Fra) 68 70, A Levy (Fra) 68 70, M Ilonen  (Fin) 70 68, S Kjeldsen (Den) 72 66, B An (Kor) 70 68, N Colsaerts  (Bel) 73 65, S Kapur (Ind) 68 70, D Howell (Eng) 68 70, R Wattel  (Fra) 70 68, R Dinwiddie  (Eng) 69 69, 


139 G Wright  (Wal) 70 69, S Khan (Eng) 68 71, S Jamieson  (Sco) 71 68, A Dodt (Aus) 70 69, G Bourdy (Fra) 71 68, B Steele (USA) 69 70, M Carlsson  (Swe) 68 71, E Espana (Fra) 71 68, D McGrane (Irl) 69 70, B Dredge (Wal) 72 67, P Uihlein  (USA) 68 71, F Fritsch  (Ger) 68 71, O Wilson (Eng) 70 69, M Korhonen (Fin) 69 70, A Lahiri (Ind) 71 68, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 71 68, K Broberg (Swe) 71 68, D Horsey (Eng) 70 69, S Gallacher (Sco) 68 71, M Laird  (Sco) 71 68, 

140 T Bjørn (Den) 72 68, R Ramsay  (Sco) 71 69, M Fraser (Aus) 69 71, T Murray (Eng) 71 69, A Hansen (Den) 68 72, O Fisher  (Eng) 71 69, T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 71 69, E Molinari  (Ita) 71 69, M Manassero (Ita) 69 71, A McArthur  (Sco) 68 72, M Ford (Eng) 70 70, T Olesen (Den) 63 77, S Hutsby  (Eng) 74 66, J Parry (Eng) 71 69, 

141 J Kruger (RSA) 70 71, R Karlsson (Swe) 67 74, M Lundberg (Swe) 72 69, I Poulter (Eng) 70 71, A Cañizares  (Esp) 65 76, S Hend (Aus) 70 71, R Gonzalez (Arg) 69 72, J Morrison  (Eng) 71 70, N Fasth (Swe) 67 74, 

142 J Lagergren (Swe) 71 71, G Storm  (Eng) 71 71, A Wall (Eng) 74 68, P Edberg (Swe) 73 69, T Levet (Fra) 70 72, C Montgomerie  (Sco) 74 68, J Edfors (Swe) 73 69, R Green (Aus) 70 72, S Hansen (Den) 69 73, D Fichardt (RSA) 71 71, J Barnes (Eng) 72 70, 

143 C Sutherland (Sco) 72 71, J Singh (Ind) 74 69, G Coetzee (RSA) 71 72, 

144 J Quesne  (Fra) 72 72, G Fox (Sco) 71 73, S Lyle (Sco) 72 72, 

145 J Roos (RSA) 72 73, T Lewis (Eng) 69 76, C Paisley  (Eng) 74 71, D Lipsky (USA) 72 73, 

147 P McGinley (Irl) 76 71, P Maddy (Eng) 71 76, W Ormsby (Aus) 75 72, 

148 C Doak (Sco) 76 72, 

149 M Tullo (Chi) 71 78, 

152 D Duval (USA) 77 75, 

153 C Hill (am) (Sco) 75 78, 

154 O Farr (Wal) 80 74, 

** S Webster (Eng) 76 WD