Henrik Stenson will look to launch his bid for a second Open title on the again of a victory as he remained bogey-free and firmly in competition on the midway stage of a low-scoring ASI Scottish Open.
The Renaissance Membership’s debut in internet hosting the occasion produced a exceptional variety of rounds within the mid-60s, and even Rory McIlroy hinted that he was barely shocked to be six strokes off the tempo going into the weekend regardless of carding back-to-back 67s.
The in-form Bernd Wiesberger blitzed the North Berwick format for 11 birdies, together with one on every of his remaining 5 holes as a 61 propelled him right into a share of the lead on 14 beneath with Erik Van Rooyen and Lee Slattery – the one participant within the main trio but to qualify for The 148th Open subsequent week.
Stenson cruised spherical in 65 for the second day working to lie two pictures again, with Justin Thomas one additional adrift after a 64, though Thomas’ Ryder Cup team-mate Rickie Fowler can have the weekend off after he bogeyed his remaining gap to slide to 4 beneath – one too many to keep away from lacking the reduce.
Wiesberger’s sensational end accomplished the very best spherical of his European Tour profession as he continues his spectacular comeback from the wrist harm that sidelined him for seven months final 12 months.
The Austrian, winner of the Made In Denmark in May and runner-up to Jon Rahm at Lahinch final week, began on the 10th and, after birdies at 10 and 12, he bogeyed the 13th for the second time this week earlier than responding with 4 birdies over the subsequent six holes and 5 in a row to complete.
“It’s been tough the last year, coming off injury,” he stated. “It’s been hard but winning in Denmark was a big boost to me and I’m really enjoying my time out on the golf course again. Maybe I take it not as seriously as I’ve done before and let it go and that really helped me. Just feeding off rounds like this today.”
Slattery was the primary participant to get into the clubhouse on 14 beneath when he returned a bogey-free 64 with seven birdies, together with three straight to begin the back-nine, whereas Van Rooyen carded eight birdies in opposition to only one blemish in his elegant 64.
In a single day chief Nino Bertasio slipped to joint-fourth after including a 67 to his opening 63, and he was later joined on 12 beneath by 2016 Open champion Stenson, who cruised to the flip in 31 and picked up additional pictures on the 13th and 16th to “copy and paste” his first-round effort.
“Same as yesterday, six birdies and no bogeys, so that’s always pleasing when you play 36 holes without dropping a shot,” stated the Swede. “We’re clearly enjoying a reasonably simple golf course in simple circumstances, so will probably be a birdie-fest on the market because the scoring will let you know.
“So I’m simply attempting to maintain up with the blokes on the high of the leaderboard, and to date I’m happy with the best way I’ve performed. A lot of fine tee pictures, loads of good approaches and strong placing on the greens, although I let one or two good probabilities slip by right here on the again 9, I’m nonetheless happy the place I’m positioned after two rounds.”
Stenson additionally insisted he would welcome more difficult circumstances over the weekend, including: “I need the wind to come back up a bit bit, as a result of I see this as prep main into subsequent week. Although we’re enjoying for a really robust title and many factors right here this week, it’s a good week to tune up your recreation.
“In order to do so, I would have liked to see a little tougher test than we’ve had these first two days, but weather in Scotland can always change pretty quickly, as you know, so we’ll see what the weekend brings us.”
Thomas loved a powerful begin with 5 birdies in a front-nine 30 and, after his lone blemish on the 11th, the American birdied 14, 16 and 17 in a 64 that lifted him to 11 beneath and one forward of Ian Poulter (67), Matt Fitzpatrick (65) and defending champion Brandon Stone (64).