Grantown’s Duncan Stewart was delighted to avoid a weekend of unpacking boxes at his new home by making the cut at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
The 33-year-old is well placed for the final two rounds of the £5.6million Rolex Series event after rounds of 71 and 70 for a three under par total.
While partner Fiona was unpacking at their new home in Kirkliston, a small town on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Stewart was laying the foundations for another solid week on the European Tour on the back of his tied-20th finish at last week’s Irish Open.
Stewart, yet to play in a major, hopes he can land one of three spots available for next week’s Open championship.
He said: “That would be amazing and it would mean I won’t be unpacking boxes next week either.
“Aside from your home open, playing in the majors is the ultimate goal.
“Playing well this weekend would be great and obviously the rewards that come with that are very good.
“I was stupid enough to try to fade the ball for the last six months when it didn’t feel comfortable on the course. My coach Hugh Marr felt I looked more natural drawing the ball so we went back to that last week and it has been going well.”
Stephen Gallacher, another player with aspirations to qualify for Birkdale, remains in the hunt after rounds of 68 and 72 for a four under total.
He said: “You don’t think about winning the tournament on a Friday afternoon but you can put yourself out of contention Thursday and Friday.
“I need a good couple of sub-70 rounds over the weekend.”
Aberdeen’s Richie Ramsay was disappointed after following up his opening round of 68 with a two over par 74 but remains well-placed at halfway.
He said: “Hopefully the bad round is out of the way and there are two good ones to come.”
Inverness golfer Russell Knox said he was “devastated” after missing the cut by a shot after recovering from a double bogey six at the first for a second round 70 to end the day level par overall.
Aberdeen’s Paul Lawrie and Nairn amateur Sandy Scott (both +9) were among the home players who made an early exit.