Jul 11th, 2015
Englishman has 3 shot lead over Rose and G–MAC
Words: Daniel Owen Photography: Getty Images
Daniel Brooks got to 11-under at the Scottish Open, to take a strong three shot lead over the field. Defending champion Justin Rose is on his tail at eight-under.
Brooks started the day one behind Thorbjorn Olesen, but he fired a five-under-par 65 at Gullane in the hunt for his second win, while the Dane plummeted down the scoreboard with a 77.
Rose, who posted 66, is in a group of six players three shots off the lead along with Matthew Nixon, 67 and Graeme McDowell, 66, Shane Lowry, 66, Sweden's Johan Carlsson, 67, and United States' Ryan Palmer, who matched the best scores of the day with a 65.
Rose, the highest-ranked player in the tournament following Rory McIlroy's withdrawal through injury, started with a bogey five at the opening hole but responded with five birdies before the turn only for his progress to slow on the back nine.
Rose said: "I started with a bogey, but that seemed to be the catalyst to play some pretty good golf."
"The difference between the front and the back was just making those key putts from about 15 feet."
Asked how close he is to top form ahead of The Open, Rose replied: "I would say running about 50%. There's still a couple of loose shots, which I'm getting away with on this course that, on some other courses, you might not get away with.
Rose's playing partner, five-time major winner Phil Mickelson, who won this event at Castle Stuart in 2013, had a 68 to lie eight shots behind the leader.
Former Open champion Paul Lawrie, leads the Scottish contigent after a second 67 took him to six-under-par, five behind Brooks.
The 46-year-old has had injury problems in the past two seasons: "I'm not 100% fit, but I'm fit enough to give it a clip down the fairway.
"These two days, I've played really nicely.
"Tee to green, I've hit a lot of nice shots and I've putted really nicely but holed nothing.
"I feel as though, if I knock a couple of putts in, I've got a chance this weekend."