Hanson in 4-way share of lead at Scottish Open
Peter Hanson of Sweden fired a 5-under 67 to move into a four-way share of the lead going into the third and final round of the weather-disrupted Scottish Open on Sunday.
The European Ryder Cup player was one of 68 players to complete their second rounds early on the final day, making three birdies in nine holes to go to 11 under.
The 33-year-old Hanson joined Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Scottish pair Scott Jamieson and Peter Whiteford, who finished their second rounds on Friday, at the top of the leaderboard.
Top-ranked Luke Donald, playing in the same group as Hanson, also shot a 67 and is with fellow Englishman Barry Lane (67) and Spain’s Jose Manuel Lara on 10 under.
The whole of Saturday’s play was washed out because of torrential rain and thunderstorms, leaving half the field still to complete their second rounds from Friday afternoon and forcing organizers to reduce the event to 54 holes for the first time in its history.
There was some rain overnight but it had relented by the time play began at 7 a.m. (0600 GMT), allowing the likes of Hanson and Donald a decent chance to make some headway.
Resuming on the 10th hole, Hanson picked up shots at Nos. 12, 16 and 18, giving him a great opportunity to capture his first title of 2011 and the fifth of his career.
Donald is dangerously positioned, though, after also making three birdies to wrap up a second straight 67, while second-ranked Lee Westwood is on 8 under after a 71.
Colin Montgomerie’s hopes of qualifying for next week’s British Open are still alive after birdieing the par-5 last for a 3-under 69, leaving him on 8 under with Westwood. Montgomerie, bidding to play in his home major for the 22nd straight year, needs to be the highest of the top-five finishers not already exempt for Royal St. George’s.
England’s Steve Webster made a hole-in-one at the 190-yard No. 8, sinking a 7 iron, but finished on 3 under, making him unlikely to survive the cut which is projected to be at 4 under.
That would mean sixth-ranked Phil Mickelson of the United States (4 under) would stay on for the third round.
China’s Liang Wen-chong and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee retired before resuming their second rounds on Sunday, however, taking the total of withdrawals following the freak storms over the past two days to 10 players.