Scottish Open: Graeme McDowell three behind leader at Gullane

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell finished strongly with three birdies in his final five holes

Graeme McDowell lies three shots off the lead after a second successive round of 66 left him eight under par at the Scottish Open at Gullane.

McDowell carded six birdies and two bogeys and is one of several players tied for second, including Shane Lowry and defending champion Justin Rose.

England's Daniel Brooks shot a 65 to head the field on 11 under.

Michael Hoey posted six birdies in a 65 to equal the best round of the day and leave the Belfast player five under.

Hoey recorded birdies at the second, fourth, fifth and sixth holes, with only a dropped shot at the ninth marring his outward nine.

The Northern Irishman picked up further shots at the 12th and 14th.

McDowell is showing a return to form ahead of next week's Open Championship after missing the cut at the French Open last week.

The 2010 US Open champion made a strong finish to his round with birdies at the 14th, 15th and 17th.

The other players sharing second place with McDowell, Lowry and Rose going into Saturday's third round are Swede Johan Carlsson, England's Matthew Nixon and American Ryan Palmer.

Padraig Harringtton is four under following a 68, but fellow Irishmen Damien McGrane and Paul McGinley will miss the cut.