The Castle Stuart Golf Links in Scotland is demanding the best from some of the best golfers in the world, and some of those golfers are in trouble this Friday.
However, American world number eight Matt Kuchar did Friday morning what he does every week on the PGA Tour; played a solid round of golf to secure a shot at the title in the weekend.
With a bogey free second round of 66 Kuchar ended up on eight under par, posting the best US position before the final rounds.
Phil Mickelson, posting a 73 in the first round, was in trouble from the first hole on Friday as the cut is expected to be around four or five-under-par. World number six Mickelson got under way with birdies on two of the first three holes and came in with a 67, placing him on five-under-par.
Scores was good in Scotland all morning, and the forecast makes conditions good in the afternoon, which means the cut could send Mickelson out of the event, even though the cut line was at two under when the lefty signed his score card.
Graeme McDowell shot 64 to take a tied clubhouse lead at 11-under-par together with Scot’s Scott Jamieson (66) and Peter Whiteford (66), and players like major winners Angel Cabrera and Paul Lawrie shot early 64’s to crawl up the early leader board.
Anthony Kang shot an early 69 to finish at three under par, while Brandt Snedeker shot 66 to go to one under par after his first round 77. The effort of both players, however, seems to be in vain this week.
Ryan Palmer (-1), Gary Woodland (+1), Brendan Steele (+1) and Jason Knutzon (+4) will tee off late and try to make it to the weekend.
World Number two Lee Westwood is starting his second round on seven under par, while worlds number one Luke Donald tees off at five under par.