Phil Mickelson shot the second hole-in-one of The Barclays Scottish Open, but Ireland’s Damien McGrane is the clubhouse leader on eight under par after firing a superb 66 at Loch Lomond Golf Course.
McGrane’s five under par round, added to the 68 he produced on Thursday, gained momentum with a birdie three at the 12th - he started on the tenth - before he picked up an extra stroke at the par three 17th. An eagle followed at the third, while birdies on the eighth and ninth holes eased the pain of a bogey on the seventh.
In all it leaves McGrane eight shots under par, one shot ahead of a group of four players including Paul Lawrie, the 1999 winner of The Open Championship.
Lawrie, the home favourite who also started on the back nine, was seemingly charging to a share of the lead after collecting birdies on the 12th, fourth and sixth and an eagle on the 13th.
However, a bogey five on the ninth dropped him into a tie for second with Denmark’s Thomas Björn, England’s Simon Khan and Argentina’s Angel Cabrera, who started the day at six under but has birdied the first.
Matthew Millar of England was heading for a sensational score of eight under par, but, having shot six birdies and an eagle, he took a bogey on the last to claim a round of 64 and take a share of sixth on six under par with Henrik Stenson and two others.
Mickelson, meanwhile, followed in the footsteps of Sweden’s Pelle Edberg, who aced his tee shot on the 17th on Thursday, by holing his first shot at the fifth. His five iron from 198 yards pitched around ten feet short of the flag and rolled into the hole at a perfect speed. He is tied for 23rd place on the leaderboard on four under par.
“It kick-started my round, I was not doing much at that point,” admitted the 38 year old.
“I was probably right on the edge of the cut but it gave me some momentum and I birdied two more holes. It went over the ridge in the green so I couldn't see it go in but all of a sudden everybody behind the green jumped up and it was great to see that.
“I was struggling to get the ball in the hole so I guess I needed to hole it from off the green.”
Ernie Els, the World Number Six, shot an excellent round of 66 to join Mickelson on four under par overall.
Els said: “I had a very nice one going today and did not finish very well, five under with a couple of blemishes. The course is there to be taken and I will need to shoot the lights out tomorrow to have any chance.”
Overnight leader Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand started on the tenth in the afternoon but has dropped back to a tie for 11th on five under par after bogeying his first two holes. Sweden’s Alexander Noren, who also started the day on seven under par, shot a 73 to join Jaidee.
|T3||JIMÉNEZ, Miguel Angel||ESP||18||-10|