Molinari, Noren tied for Scottish lead
Saturday, 14 July 2012
First-round leader Francesco Molinari shares a one-shot lead with Alex Noren at the halfway mark of the Scottish Open.
Molinari, who had had a triple bogey seven on the 7th hole, carded a round of 70 - eight more than his opening round score at Inverness on Friday.
Meanwhile, Sweden's Noren joined him after a second successive 66 the day after his girlfriend Emelie won an event in Norway on his 30th birthday.
But the big mover on a congested leaderboard was Italian teenager Matteo Manassero.
Twice a winner on the European Tour already, Manassero shot a 64, including seven birdies in the last nine holes to move him into equal third, only one off the lead.
The European Tour's youngest-ever champion could qualify for Royal Lytham next week with a top-five finish, but his sights are on emulating what German Marcel Siem did at the Alstom Open de France last Sunday by winning to earn his spot.
"The Open is on my mind and this is my last chance," said the 19-year-old from Verona, who stands 11 under par at halfway.
Argentina's big-hitting Ricardo Gonzalez is joint third with Manassero, while world No.1 and defending champion Luke Donald's 68 means he has only three shots to make up.
India's SSP Chowrasia is fifth at 10 under while Phil Mickelson's 64 sees him trail the leader by just five shots.
Australian Richard Green (seven under) is equal with Mickelson after he fired off a three-under third round of 69 while Marcus Fraser is three shots further back in a share of 57th spot on four under.
Martin Kaymer, the 2009 champion, is alongside Donald and Padraig Harrington at six under, ensuring the final 36 holes promises plenty of quality golf.