Warren claims outright lead

7/15/2012 3:22:30 PM
Marc Warren   (Getty Images)
Marc Warren (Getty Images)
Marc Warren was giving the home fans plenty to smile about as he edged ahead of Italian Francesco Molinari during the final in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links.

In the windiest conditions of the week - and amid some heavy showers - Molinari was caught by Scot Warren, Indian Jeev Milkha Singh and Dane Søren Kjeldsen.

But after eight successive pars the brother of 2010 winner Edoardo pitched to four feet and birdied to move to 18 under par.

With nine to play Phil Mickelson was four behind, while the front nine 37 of World Number One and defending champion Luke Donald left him six back after 12 holes.

Warren, Singh and Kjeldsen were also involved in a fight for the one Open Championship spot up for grabs.

Warren produced the biggest cheers of the day when he holed from 18 feet at the tenth and 11th to leapfrog over Molinari into the lead on 19 under.

Singh drove the green on the par four 16th, but was 80 feet from the flag and three-putted it for a par that kept him two behind.

Warren moved three clear when he two-putted the 12th for birdie and Molinari bogeyed it, but the Italian - runner-up in last week's Alstom Open de France - came back with a birdie on the next.

The new target in the clubhouse was Singh's 67, but leaving a 14 foot birdie chance on the last short probably ended his hopes. 

Warren threw away his advantage with a double bogey on the 15th. He was in the right rough off the tee, got lucky when his second shot found a walkway, but then three-putted from 20 feet, missing his bogey attempt from three feet.

He was level with Molinari and one ahead of Singh and Swede Alex Noren.