Friday, 12 July 2013
Chris Doak  (Getty Images)
Chris Doak (Getty Images)
Chris Doak hailed the influence of coach Bob Torrance after securing the halfway lead at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

A second straight round of 66 saw the 35 year old finish day two on 12 under par, one ahead of American Peter Uihlein, Dane JB Hansen and English pair Ross Fisher and Matthew Southgate.

The Scot, with only one top-ten finish to his name on The European Tour, carded five birdies, a bogey, and an eagle at the long 12th to lead by one on 12 under par.

Doak lost his card at the end of his only previous season on The European Tour in 2009, but regained it by finishing tenth on the Challenge Tour last year.

A link with 81 year old Torrance, the father of former Ryder Cup Captain Sam and the man who coached Padraig Harrington to three Major Championships, has seen Doak progress.

“It's absolutely phenomenal to shoot 66-66 in the first two days,” he said. “You start the week thinking you want to go low but to actually do it is fantastic. 

“I just feel it has been coming all year but just maybe haven't put it all together. These two days, I've definitely put it together.  

“It helps Bob being here, as well. He's not at many tournaments now, so it definitely helps, makes a difference.”

Doak also thanked the home supporters who have flocked to Inverness over the first two days.

“It's fantastic, to hear all the highland accents up here cheering you on, it's fantastic,” he added.

“I'm sure there will be a big following at the weekend. People are up for it so hopefully there's a lot more people.”

Southgate was working in Pockets snooker club in Southend just three years ago - he has three centuries to his name - and made only three halfway cuts from 11 European Tour events last year, but is relishing the task ahead this weekend.

"I like getting a bit nervous and a bit tingly, that's what I live for," the 24 year old said after equalling the lowest round of the day with a flawless 64 containing six birdies and an eagle. "If I am shaking like a leaf on the first tee tomorrow I will be enjoying it.

"It's been a tough season. Coming out of the Tour School you are thinking about making cuts but that's a bit negative. I have been looking over my shoulder the whole time rather than playing to get into contention.

"I've done a lot of work on my putting and Robert Rock has been helping me out, but it's a shame I can't lie down on the green and use a snooker cue to knock them in! Every player needs a big break so if this can be mine bring it on."

Uihlein, who won the Madeira Islands Open earlier this season, recovered from a double bogey seven on the 12th - his third hole of the day - to card a 66 thanks to eight birdies in his last 12 holes.

And the 23 year old former World Number One amateur hopes he can learn from his experience at the Irish Open two weeks ago, when he shared the lead at halfway but never recovered from fluffing a chip and missing a two foot putt to double bogey the third hole on his way to a third round of 74.

"It's all about trying to get into contention and slow everything down and work at my own pace," Uihlein said. "I feel like a couple of times I just keep getting too quick and my mind races a little too fast.

"I feel the more I can get myself into that position, the slower I can make things."

World Number Eight Phil Mickelson is four off the lead on eight under after a 70, but Open Champion Ernie Els missed the cut a week ahead of his title defence at Muirfield.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
2GRACE, BrandenRSA18-17
T3STENSON, HenrikSWE18-15
T5LAIRD, MartinSCO18-14
T5MAYBIN, GarethNIR18-14

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