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Lawrie tops the leaderboard

The home fans hoping to see the name Lawrie at the top of the leaderboard at the Scottish Open got their wish - but it was Dubliner Peter, not former Open champion Paul.

While the 43-year-old from Aberdeen was in a battle to survive the halfway cut at Castle Stuart - missing out would be a blow to his Ryder Cup hopes - his namesake turned in 32 and with a fifth birdie of the day two holes later took over at the top from Francesco Molinari.

The Italian, who opened the Aberdeen Asset Management-sponsored event with a course record 62, was among the later starters and in a week of low scoring it would have come as no surprise to see himself overtaken.

Peter Lawrie has had only one European Tour victory in nearly 300 starts - it was the 2008 Spanish Open - but after teeing off in the second group of the day at 7.35am he had a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th, added a two at the 226-yard 17th and then made four on the long second.

Molinari, whose brother Edoardo took the title two years ago, was joined in second place by 2009 winner Martin Kaymer - some comeback after the German finished last of those who made the cut in last week's French Open.

Kaymer, who got that performance out of his system by gardening at his grandmother's house on Monday, covered the back nine in 31.

Just ahead of him American star Phil Mickelson climbed from 123rd to 52nd by going to the turn in 32.

The highlight of that was sinking a 60-yard pitch to the 10th, his opening hole, for an eagle two and he then picked up birdies at the 16th and 18th.

He was playing with his fellow major champion Paul Lawrie and another Scot, Martin Laird.

With nine holes to go Laird was five under, but at level par Lawrie probably needed at least three birdies just to have a chance of weekend action.

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