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G-Mac gives himself chance of sealing Open spot

 

By Phil Casey

Graeme McDowell's last shot at a place at Carnoustie for The Open Championship will continue into the weekend at the Scottish Open after the Rathmore man made the cut at Gullane.

McDowell added a four-under 66 on day two to sit five under for the tournament, and needs to finish as one of the top three players not already qualified for next week's Major to earn a place in the field.

Currently those three spots are going to leader Robert Rock, Sweden's Jens Dantorp and England's Eddie Pepperell, with McDowell five shots adrift of Pepperell, who is on 10-under.

However, the Ulsterman has given himself a glimmer of hope that he may still earn a spot, however he will need two big rounds at the weekend to work his way into contention.

Meanwhile, Englishman Rock achieved a personal milestone to claim the halfway lead at Gullane.

Rock added a second round of 63 to his opening 64 for a halfway total of 13 under par and a two-shot lead over Dantorp and Tyrrell Hatton, with Pepperell and 2015 champion Rickie Fowler another stroke back.

Rock has not dropped a shot over the first 36 holes for the first time in his career and is in pole position to secure his first title since 2012.

"I've started well in a few tournaments recently but it's all about putting four rounds together and that's the challenge," said Rock.

"Getting into The Open is everything, but you have to focus on this event first and play the course here before that.

"I'll be there whatever happens as a coach, but it's hard going and not playing."

Belfast Telegraph

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