Noren makes strong finish on day two in Aberdeen


Alex Noren finished with a flourish to claim the second-round lead at the Scottish Open on Friday, coming home in just 31 shots on his final nine holes.

Danny Lee had been the long-time clubhouse leader following his round of 66, but Noren, starting at the 10th, produced an identical score to move onto eight under par for the tournament - one shot clear of the New Zealander and England's Eddie Pepperell.

"I like this place," Noren, who enjoyed a run of five birdies in seven holes that started at the second, said of Castle Stuart.

"It's a really fun course to play. A few very tricky holes and then a few holes where you can go for the green in two on the par fives and you can reach, I think, two greens today on the par four in one, which is very fun for us.

"Some weeks, we play courses where it's tough all the way around, and here, it's kind of a really nice mix, so I like it.

"It wasn't easy but I managed to hit some good shots. It got better and better - I played steady on the front nine, and then my last nine holes, I really got it going. 

"It's always nice when you get it going and then another birdie maybe drops, and that's what happened today."

Lee had been due to defend the Greenbrier Classic on the PGA Tour before the event was cancelled due to devastating floods in West Virginia, and has promised to donate $500 to flood-relief efforts for every birdie he makes in Aberdeen.

"I made a lot of birdies which is good," said Lee, whose running total now stands at $5,500. "It's really unfortunate what happened to the West Virginia area.

"I'm donating a little bit of money so I'm happy I had a lot of birdies and hopefully I can put some eagles [worth $1,000 to the fundraising effort] in there too."

Overnight leaders Felipe Aguilar and Scott Hend struggled to replicate their day-one performances, posting rounds of 72 and 73 respectively to fall back through the field.

Spanish duo Jorge Campillo and Alejandro Canizares, meanwhile, matched the day's best score of 66 to launch themselves into contention at six and four under respectively following underwhelming opening rounds.

Matt Fitzpatrick and Thongchai Jaidee were among the players to miss the cut.