SHANE LOWRY DELIVERED a second successive low-par round to position himself near the leaders at the Scottish Open.
His solid round was undone, however, by a double bogey on the 16th. The serious blemish came as he sat just one shot behind the leaders.
The Offaly golfer and former Irish Open winner started his day on the tenth hole and recorded birdies on his opening three holes.
The only error on his front nine came on the 17th (his eight hole of the day) when he carded a bogey ‘four’.
He bounced straight back with birdies on the next three holes and strung together a series of pars in the closing holes.
While a lot of attention at the Stuart’s Castle golf course on Friday went to Phil Mickelson, who signed off for a round of 64, Lowry’s performance was encouraging and a continuation of the fine form the 25-year-old has been enjoying as of late.
Lowry finished in 17th at last weekend’s French Open and would have placed much higher up the Irish Open leaderboard at Portrush the week before had it not been for a disappointing round of 76 in the third round.
Francesco Molinari could not replicate his 10-Under opening round but he evening carded two birdies in the closing stretch to tie Sweden’s Alexander Noren for the outright lead.
Molinari, a member of the Ryder Cup team in 2010, unfurled a number of impressive drives and his approach work was good but he could not replicate the assured putting action that served him so well on Thursday.
Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina and Matteo Manassero, the teenage golf sensation from Italy, matched Mickelson’s round of 64 to join Lowry in joint third position at 11-Under.
Peter Lawrie was next best placed of the Irish on 9-Under while Padraig Harrington is on 6-Under and will be around for the weekend’s action.