Mickelson stays in contention thanks to a hole in one

British hopes of an Open win at Royal Birkdale next week were set back yesterday by events unrelated to this final warm-up event, the Scottish Open. But Luke Donald's Open withdrawal with a wrist injury that will keep him out of action for at least three weeks might well have an impact on someone here. Or more precisely, someone who
was here until he missed the cut last night. Colin Montgomerie.

Donald is likely to miss not only the Open but the USPGA. He is therefore doubtful to be in a position to win the ranking points he needs to be automatically selected for Nick Faldo's Ryder Cup team. With even Monty himself saying last week that Donald and Padraig Harrington would be his own wild-card picks, ahead of himself, if they did not qualify by right, Donald's injury may yet damage Monty's own Ryder Cup ambitions.

The Scot certainly was in no need of such bad news after a round of 75 peppered with bogey blue. "There's a thin line between success and failure," he grimaced, before heading home to Perthshire for the weekend rather than going straight to Birkdale to start preparing for the Open.

Back to matters here. Even another biblical downpour could not distract the field as an Angel took the lead, and three other crowd-pleasers – Phil Mickelson, Paul Lawrie and Thomas Bjorn – made comebacks to rival Lazarus. Angel Cabrera will tee off this afternoon in the lead on nine under par after carding a three-under 68 to take a one-shot lead over Ireland's Damien McGrane, who shot a 66.

Lurking in the pack is Lawrie, the 1999 Open winner at Carnoustie who has not won a tour event for six years but carded a 67 to move to seven-under overall. On the same mark is a Bjorn-again Dane, Thomas, the winner here in 1996. His multiple illnesses and injuries, most recently a shoulder problem and food poisoning, did not prevent a 68.

That pair are intent on hauling careers back on track, but Mickelson had the most dramatic Friday turnaround. After 13 holes, he was par for the day and the tournament and on his way to missing the cut. That would have been not only embarrassing but would also have cost him two days' competitive Open practice.

But he holed in one at the par-three fifth (he started on the back nine) and followed that with birdie, par, par, birdie for a four-under 67 and a weekend to play for. Ernie Els, after a 66, is also four-under overall, while Lee Westwood's 69 keeps him right in contention.

Mickelson, the leftie world No 2, said that his ace "kick-started my round, I wasn't doing much at that point." The 38-year-old's five iron from 198 yards pitched about 10 feet short and rolled in to huge cheers that alerted the unsighted player as to the fate of his ball.

Bjorn needs a top-five finish here to qualify for the Open, but is taking nothing for granted. He is still getting used to a long putter as a solution to a bad case of the yips. "It is all right on the practice green, but when you go out and play with it for the first time in a tournament you feel a bit strange."

Lawrie, 39, was understandably delighted to be going into today's third round in contention. His last Tour win was the Wales Open of 2002 and he admitted that even his wife, Marian, and his sons, Craig and Robert, give him a hard time when he is not winning. "Oh, you'd better believe it," he said. "By God, daddy's been useless for a while so it would be nice to get a win on the board to shut them up a wee bit."

The Aberdonian is currently ranked No264 in the world and has not had a top-10 finish anywhere this season.

Lawrie's family will not be present today. They have a prior engagement at an Aberdeen-Manchester United friendly at Pittodrie to celebrate the Dons' 1983 Cup-Winners' Cup win over Real Madrid. A Paul Lawrie Select XI will play a half-time charity match, without their main man.

Scottish Open second-round scores

Leading scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 133 A Cabrera (Arg) 65 68. 134 D McGrane 68 66. 135 Paul Lawrie 68 67; T Bjorn (Den) 67 68; R Green (Aus) 67 68; T Jaidee (Thai) 64 71; S Khan 69 66. 136 J M Singh (Ind) 68 68; R Dinwiddie 68 68; M Millar (Aus) 72 64; D Lynn 69 67; L Westwood 67 69; H Stenson (Swe) 67 69. 137 F Molinari (It) 69 68; C Cevaer (Fr) 70 67; G Houston 66 71; M Erlandsson (Swe) 67 70; R Fisher 68 69; G McDowell 67 70; O Wilson 71 66; M Lafeber (Neth) 67 70; J Bickerton 66 71; O Fisher 68 69; F Andersson Hed (Swe) 70 67; A Noren (Swe) 64 73; M A Jimenez (Sp) 68 69; J-F Lucquin (Fr) 72 65. 138 P Sjoland (Swe) 67 71; A Scott (Aus) 72 66; S Strange (Aus) 70 68; P Edberg (Swe) 68 70; P Hedblom (Swe) 70 68; J Edfors (Swe) 67 71; P Mickelson (US) 71 67; D Dixon 68 70; E Els (SA) 72 66; I Poulter 69 69; J-F Remesy (Fr) 70 68; G Murphy 68 70; G Bourdy (Fr) 70 68; M Foster 68 70. 139 D Howell 69 70; S Kjeldsen (Den) 73 66; C Rodiles (Sp) 69 70; Peter Lawrie 71 68; M Brown (US) 73 66; S Wakefield 71 68; M Mamat (Sing) 69 70; A Quiros (Sp) 69 70; R McIlroy 70 69; D Drysdale 68 71; T Whitehouse 68 71; A Romero (Arg) 68 71; R McGowan 69 70; G Havret (Fr) 69 70. 140 H Otto (SA) 71 69; J Kingston (SA) 70 70; A McLardy (SA) 70 70; A Wall 70 70; I Pyman 69 71; A Oldcorn 71 69; S Gallacher 72 68; A Canizares (Sp) 73 67; A Forsyth 73 67; P McGinley 70 70.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
News
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
people
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballAnd Liverpool are happy despite drawing European champions
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
fashion

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone