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Lawrie surges to the top

Dubliner Peter Lawrie joined overnight leader Francesco Molinari at the top of the leaderboard on the second day of the Scottish Open.

Lawrie, with one European Tour win in nearly 300 events, recorded a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th before claiming another shot on the short 17th.

Molinari was among the later starters and in a week of low scoring he probably expected to see himself overtaken before he resumed.

Phil Mickelson's attempt to fight his way back into contention was given a huge boost when he holed a 60-yard shot on his very first hole.

The three-time Masters champion was not even in the top 120 after an opening one over par 73 at Castle Stuart left him 11 strokes behind leader Francesco Molinari.

Making an eagle two at the 363-yard 10th instantly moved him up 37 places, although he was still outside the predicted halfway cut mark.

The early drama also included a hole-in-one by Scot Peter Whiteford at the 168-yard 11th to take him to five under - but the prize of 168 bottles of champagne was claimed yesterday by England's Andrew Johnston.

Up into third place, only one back, was 2009 champion Martin Kaymer - some comeback after he finished last of those who made the cut in the French Open last week.

Mickelson had to settle for five successive pars after his initial eagle and, at one under, he knew he needed to make more progress to be around for the weekend.

Playing partner Paul Lawrie really needed to put his foot on the accelerator at one over with 12 holes remaining and fellow Scot Colin Montgomerie was only one better than that after seven holes of his second round.

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