Els glad to bow out of Scottish Open ahead of British Open defence
South African admits he didn’t get the bounces at Castle Stuart
Ernie Els looks on with caddie Colin Byrne during the second round of the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links in Inverness, Scotland. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images
British Open champion Ernie Els today said he was glad to make an early exit from the Scottish Open, just days before the defence of his title at Muirfield.
Els could only card an opening 72 at Castle Stuart on a day when 117 players broke par and a second round of 70 was not enough to make the halfway cut as the low scoring continued.
“I just did not get the bounces,” Els said. “I thought I played quite well today but I had no idea on these greens so I am glad I am leaving to get on some other greens.
“A missed cut is not great but we have had a great time here. I did not get the run of the course, it felt like it was against me, but I am playing nicely and gave myself a lot of opportunities.
“My game is where I want it to be. It did not quite go my way these last two days and I made a couple of silly errors, soft bogeys, yesterday. It’s not the first cut I’ve missed and it won’t be the last.”
Doak, playing only his second full season on the European Tour at the age of 35, carded five birdies, an eagle and one bogey, while Uihlein also returned a 66 containing a double-bogey seven on his third hole but also eight birdies in his last 12 holes.
“I’m very pleased with the score but still feel like I left a few chances out there,” Stenson said. “I three-putted the 18th for par and the putt on nine was more in the hole than a few that I made but somehow lipped out. That would have been the icing on the cake.
“I’ve just had two weeks off and been busy with other stuff so am still a bit rusty but I have another two rounds to work on it.”
Doak lost his card at the end of his only previous season on the European Tour in 2009, but regained it by finishing 10th on the Challenge Tour last year.
“The first time around I was still wet behind the ears but the Challenge Tour definitely taught me how to play four rounds and handle the travel,” the Glaswegian said. “It’s a tough environment because there are a lot of great players out there and you need to be consistent because there is not as much money.
“But anything that’s worth learning takes time and hopefully it’s coming together now. It’s fantastic to shoot 66 and follow it up with another one and I’m really pleased.”
Three straight birdies from the 13th was the highlight of Damien McGrane’s second round of 69 that saw him get to eight under and a share of 13th place going in to the weekend.
Shane Lowry’s challenge faltered on day two as he could only manage a 73 after opening with a 66 to slip back to five under. He is joined there by Gareth Maybin (70) and Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley (72).
Michael Hoey shot a 71 to finish on one under, a 74 from David Higgins left him on one over, while Peter Lawrie was back on four over after 71.