England’s 28-year-old Daniel Brooks, after his first “full-round” European Tour victory, took the lead at the Scottish Open on Friday by firing a second-round 65 to reach 11-under through 36 holes.
Brooks carded one bogey on the day, but made up for it with an eagle on No. 2 and three birdies on the back nine.
While Brooks could gain entry to The Open Championship field with a win here, Friday was largely about the cream rising to the top, as six players already qualified for the third Major of the year powered their way into the Top 10.
Most circumspect of them is Justin Rose, last year’s champion, who moved into a seven-way tie for second at 8-under by firing his second straight 66 on Friday. Graeme McDowell is also part of that mix.
One of the day’s best rounds came courtesy the oldest player in the field. Spain’s 51-year-old Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a 5-under 65 to move to 6-under and tied for 13th. Through two rounds, Jimenez has seven birdies on the back nine.
The leading Americans in the field slid back on Day 2. Both world #9 Rickie Fowler and #17 Matt Kuchar slid back three spots to a tie for 13th with 68s.
Meanwhile Phil Mickleson shot a 68 to reach 3-under, but in this thick field that’s only good for a tie for 48th.
But the Americans had no comparison to the staggering fall off of Day 1 leader Thorbjorn Olesen. After firing a 63 on Thursday to lead by two strokes, the Dane missed the cut with a 7-over 77 to finish the two rounds at even par.
One day after a bogey-free round, Olesen suffered a birdie-free 18, with four bogeys and a double on No. 5.