European TourJuly 8, 2016

Scottish Open: Alex Noren leads Danny Lee by a stroke

Alex Noren leads at eight under after two rounds of the Scottish Open, with Danny Lee and Eddie Pepperell just one stroke back.

Danny Lee was not able to defend his title at the Greenbrier Classic following its cancellation this week, but he is rather in pursuit of his second career European Tour win, currently one shot back of Alex Noren after the second round of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scotish Open.

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The New Zealand native Lee shot a Friday six-under 66 at Castle Stuart Golf Links in Inverness, tied for the best score of the day. The more birdies he makes the better, as Lee is donating $500 for every birdie he makes at Stuart Links to the flood-relief efforts in West Virginia. He is tied for second with Eddie Pepperell at seven under.

"A little bit upset that I couldn't get to defend my title at Greenbrier, but I'm actually more worried and upset that a lot of people are going through a tough time in West Virginia area where Greenbrier Classic is," said Lee. "It's just very unfortunate to hear that."

Noren of Sweden was hot on the front nine at Castle Stuart, with a five-under 39 that included three straight birdies on holes six through eight. He is eight under through 36 holes.

World no. 10 Branden Grace, Matteo Manassero, Jorge Campillo and Richard Bland are tied for fourth, just two strokes back of the lead at six under.

Padraig Harrington, a two-time Open Championship winner, is just three strokes behind Noren at five under, along with Graeme McDowell, winner of the 2008 Scottish Open.

Phil Mickelson, winner of the 2013 Scottish Open, shot a three-under 69 on the day, moving to one over through 36 holes. He is tied with Henrik Stenson, Patrick Reed and Steve Stricker, and nine strokes off the lead.

The cut line was set at two over, eliminating Andrew Johnston, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Shane Lowry.