Words by BGB Editorial
NORTH BERWICK, Scotland: Lucas Herbert belied shaky form heading into the week to card a fine second round 65 at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open on Friday to open up a narrow one shot lead.
The Australian reached 11-under par at the halfway stage, to edge clear of England’s Robert Rock. Tour veterans Ian Poulter and overnight leader Lee Westwood hold third on nine-under par.
“There is still a long way to go. Just got to make sure that’s my focus for the weekend is that there still is a long way to go.Lucas Herbert
“I’m pretty happy,” said Herbert after signing for a near flawless round, peppered with seven birdies and one solitary bogey at the par-four fourth.
“To be honest I turned up here on Wednesday and hit it all over the place. Sort of not really expecting too much the last few days, but it’s all come together nicely, and yeah, pretty happy.
“There is still a long way to go. Just got to make sure that’s my focus for the weekend is that there still is a long way to go.
“Two rounds of level par are not going to get it done unless that weather gets pretty bad, which it might, but I would say I’m still going to have to keep the foot on the accelerator and try and take it pretty low on the weekend because there’s some birdies out there.”
England’s Rock – who was in contention at last week’s Irish Open before falling away on the final day – produced a display of flawless golf on Friday. Moving through the field with a 67.
“I kept plodding along, and thankfully with no bogeys, you pick them up every now and again and it adds up to a decent score, doesn’t it?” said Rock.
“I hit a couple iron shots close. I didn’t really hole many putts, but yeah, an easier day.”
The leading duo will be keeping a close eye on the ‘big-heads’ circling just two shots off the pace.
In a day of contrasting fortunes, Poulter moved into contention with a 67 while playing partner Westwood stagnated somewhat with a level-par 71.
“I’m pleased that I stuck with my game plan and 71 feels like an all right score,” admitted Westwood, who opened with a 62 on Thursday.
“They toughened the course up. They put the flags on the side of hills. The pin positions were noticeably tougher, so I can only apologise to everybody for shooting 62 yesterday!”
Thailand’s sole representative failed to make it into the weekend.
Jazz Janewattananond could only muster a disappointing three-over par 74 to fall back onto plus-two. The cut fell at one-under par.