Work to do: Graeme McDowell slightly off the pace in Scotland

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell has work to do if he is to clinch a place in next week’s The Open Championship at Carnoustie.

The Portrush man carded a four-under 67 at the Scottish Open at Gullane to take him to five-under for the tournament.

His second round included an eagle on the second, but he just could not get the birdies turning over from him on the back nine.

However, he is eight shots behind leader Robert Rock at the halfway point.

There are four Open places available at the Scottish event and McDowell had decided late last weekend to go to Gullane after a disappointing showing at the Irish Open in Ballyliffin.

Last week’s winner at the Co Donegal event, Scotland’s Russell Knox, was six behind Rock while Rickie Fowler leads the American challenge on 10-under at the halfway point.

Meanwhile, on the European Challenge Tour in Sardinia, Italy, Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey remained in contention after the first two rounds.

Having shot a three-under-par first round on Thursday, which included four birdies and a bogey, Hoey shot another three under round on Friday.

He did find six birdies, but slipped up with three bogeys after the turn.

He is five shots behind leader Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg.

He carded a four under-par, following a seven-under par 64 on Thursday to lead by two at the halfway stage of the Italian Challenge presented by Cashback World.

Derry professional, Ruaidhri McGee, who missed making the cut at last weekend’s European Tour Irish Open in Ballyliffin, is four behind the leader, having shot rounds of four and three under.

Northern Ireland’s Dermot McElroy missed the cut by one.

He shot par on Friday and was unable to better his one under from the previous round.