Scottish Open: Hideto Tanihara beats Connor Syme's course record

Hideto Tanihara at the Scottish Open
Tanihara was eight under for the day after 11 holes
Scottish Open second-round leaderboard
-13 R Rock (Eng); -11 T Hatton (Eng), J Dantorp (Swe); -10 E Pepperell (Eng), R Fowler (US); -9 L Westwood (Eng), H Li (Chn), A Bjork (Swe), S Fernandez (Spa)
Selected others: -7 C Syme (Sco), R Knox (Sco), I Poulter (Eng), J Rose (Eng), S Brown (Eng)

Japan's Hideto Tanihara shot a 61 in the second round of the Scottish Open at Gullane to break a course record that had been set just hours earlier.

The 39-year-old, who had seven birdies and an eagle for a nine-under round, was in line for the European Tour's first 59 but parred 16, 17 and 18.

It was the second course record of the day, after 23-year-old Scot Connor Syme shot an eight-birdie 62.

Englishman Robert Rock has a two-shot lead after a 63 left him 13 under.

The world number 244 completed the first bogey-free opening 36 holes of his European Tour career and has compatriot Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden's Jens Dantorp as his nearest challengers.

Rock, 41, won the last of his two European titles at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Championship, when he held off Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to win by one shot.

Tanihara, the world number 137, only had one birdie in a first-round 72 but moved into a group of 11 sharing 15th place - which also includes Syme and world number three Justin Rose - six off the lead.

Five-time major champion Phil Mickelson eagled the second but a round of 69 left him at one under and he missed the cut.

Syme, who was 23 on Wednesday, is ranked 352nd in the world, a rise of 583 places on his position at the end of last year.

He shot his first-ever front-nine 29, and his bogey-free card included a birdie in front of the galleries on the 18th.

"It was an amazing day and I'm absolutely ecstatic," Syme, from Fife, told BBC Scotland.

"My goal was to give myself a chance to make the cut and I had to get off to a hot start to do that.

"Getting four under through six was a big step in the right direction and with how it's playing, you really don't know what the cut could be."

There are three spots for next week's Open Championship available to the highest-placed players yet to secure qualification.

Connor Syme shot 62 at Gullane on Friday
Syme made the most of favourable weather conditions as he targets Open Championship qualification

Syme plays out of Drumoig Golf Centre, where he is coached by his father Stuart, and many of his family are at Gullane.

"It's not very often they can come and watch with me being well-travelled on the European Tour," said Syme, who is playing in his first Scottish Open.

"Even my sister's made it from Stirling on the early train and it's nice to put on a bit of a show for them.

"To play at Carnoustie would be an absolute dream come true, it's even closer to home than this. It was certainly my goal at the start of the week but I'm not thinking of that going round."

Top Stories