Scottish Open: Martin Laird hopes for Castle Stuart charge

Martin Laird

Scottish Open second round leaderboard

C Doak (Sco)
R Fisher (Eng), JB Hansen (Den), M Southgate (Eng), P Uihlein (USA)
V Dubuisson (Fra), L Gagli (Ita), S Khan (Eng), J Morrison (Eng), H Stenson (Swe)
Selected others -9:
F Molinari (Ita)
B Grace (RSA), P Mickelson (USA), J Parry (Eng)
P Casey (Eng), M Laird (Sco)
M Manassero (Ita)
Missed cut -3:
D Clarke (NIR) JV Singh (Ind)
E Els (RSA)

Martin Laird described his second round as "pretty average" but believes he remains in contention for the Scottish Open title.

The 30-year-old improved his score by three strokes to go into the weekend at seven under par.

"Hopefully today was my off-day," he said. "I'm in a good spot."

With the Castle Stuart links offering little resistance in the Highland sunshine, scores have been very low.

"If conditions stay like this, I'm thinking I've got to shoot 12, 13 or 14 under on the weekend to win," added Laird, who plays most of his golf on the US PGA Tour.

"It's out there and I feel like I'm playing well, so if I hit the ball a little better - I putted well today - I can definitely do it.

"The par fives are playing short and the course is there for the taking if it doesn't blow.

"If the weather stays the same, you're probably looking at low 20s [as the winning score]."

Craig Lee is level pegging with Laird, following a 69 and is pleased with his form after a few frustrating weeks.

"It was very important for me to make the cut after missing the last three," he said.

"I'm five off the lead and, with a good weekend, you never know I could squeeze up there.

"The forecast is for a bit of wind to pick up and that might help my game just a fraction."

Scott Henry matched his opening 69 to sit on six under par, while David Drysdale is a shot further back after another solid performance.

Paul Lawrie
Lawrie is eight shots off leader Chris Doak

Marc Warren, who finished third last year, turned in a much improved 68 to reach five under par, while Garry Orr picked up three shots to make the cut on four under, the same score as Greig Hutcheon.

Paul Lawrie holed a putt at the last to extend his stay but he cut a dejected figure as he once again lamented his putting form.

"I was shocking again on the greens," he sighed.

"I played lovely all day but must have missed nine or 10 putts inside 10 feet.

"You go through spells like this in your career but this is the worst I can remember."

Stephen Gallacher, Alistair Forsyth, Sandy Lyle and Peter Whiteford all missed the cut, despite red numbers.

George Murray shot 69 but had left himself too much to do following his opening 77.

Callum MacAulay, James Byrne, Scott Henderson are other locals heading home early.

Richie Ramsay, who was three under par after three holes on Thursday, opened with an ugly seven and never recovered on what he said was his "worst day of the year", shooting 78 to plummet down the leaderboard.

And Scott Jamieson suffered the ignominy of signing for an 80 - a full 10 shots worse than his opening round.

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