Pro Golf Weekly

Robert Rock Leads ASI Scottish Open at Halftime

Robert Rock posted a second-straight bogey-free round at Gullane Golf Club to claim the halftime lead at the ASI Scottish Open.

Robert Rock ASI Scottish Open
Robert Rock of England on the 18th green of Gullane Golf Club during day two of the ASI Scottish Open in Gullane, Scotland. Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

After opening with a 64, Rock signed for a blemish-free 63 on Friday en route to a 13-under par – the lowest 36-hole score on the European Tour this season.

The Englishman carded five birdies on the more score-able out nine, and added two more gains on Nos. 12 and 16 to secure the halfway lead at 127.

“I’m pleased that I managed to turn out a good score and had some things go my way to help me do that,” said Rock, who is in search of European Tour title No. 3, and first more than six years (2012 Abu Dhabi).

“Not dropping shots makes you feel like you’re playing proper golf, smart golf and your bad shots aren’t really bad. My short game is kind of healthy at the moment. You need two, really, to save par. Yesterday I only missed one green and I chipped in and that was pretty cool.

“Today wasn’t obviously as good tee-to-green but I did make some good up-and-downs, and my long putting has been good, which this type of golf demands, really.

“I have a lot of 40- and 50-foot putts, when you’re in the fairway or you don’t hit a great approach shot, you put it on the front edge or back edge and you lag those up and two-putt is what you’re after. So far, so good.

“If I play another two good rounds, I shouldn’t be too far away. But if some guys shoot, I don’t know, same sort of scores, they will be tough to catch.”

Rock’s record-setting score was two better than compatriot Tyrrell Hatton (64) and Swede Jens Dantorp (65) who sit T2 at 11-under par.

Hatton’s round was also flawless and included six birdies, highlighted by a chip-in gain on No. 15.

“If I can play like that and score that well, then that’s obviously really good. So I’ll take a bit of confidence from that and hopefully have a good weekend,” said Hatton, who will be seeking his second Rolex Series title this weekend.

Dantrop also had a six-pack of birdies, and owned sole possession of second at 12 under, until a bogey on the final hole dropped him alongside Hatton.

England’s Eddie Pepperell (63) and American Rickie Fowler (66) were T4 at 10-under par. Englishman Lee Westwood (67), Chinese Li Haotong (65), Swede Alexander Bjork (64) and Spaniard Scott Fernandez (67) were one further back at 9-under par.

Scotland’s Connor Syme posted a course-best 62 in the morning before Japan’s Hideto Tanihara bested the brand new record with a 61 late in the afternoon. The two were in a logjam of 11 players at 7-under par.


SCOTTISH OPEN: TOP 10

POS-PLAYER-SCORE (TODAY)
1. Robert Rock -13 (-7)
2. Tyrrell Hatton -11 (-6)
2. Jens Dantorp -11 (-5)
4. Eddie Pepperell -10 (-7)
4. Rickie Fowler -10 (-4)
6. Lee Westwood -9 (3)
6. Scott Fernandez -9 (-3)
6. Haotong Li -9 (-5)
6. Alexander Bjork -9 (-6)
10. Aaron Ri -8 (-7)
10. Sam Horsfield -8 (-5)
10. Dylan Frittelli -8 (-3)
10. Luke List -8 (-1)
10. Trevor Immelman -8 (-6)

SCOTTISH OPEN: NOTABLES

POS-PLAYER-SCORE (TODAY)
15. Ian Poulter -7 (-3)
15. Justin Rose -7 (-4)
15. Russell Knox -7 (-3)
15. Charley Hoffman -7 (-4)
26. Kiradech Aphibarnrat -6 (-5)
26. Patrick Reed -6 (-1)
26. Danny Willett -6 (-2)
26. Matthew Fitzpatrick -6 (-4)
40. Graeme McDowell -5 (-4)
50. Thomas Pieters -4 (-2)
50. Cameron Smith -4 (-2)

SCOTTISH OPEN: MISSED CUT

POS-PLAYER-SCORE (TODAY)
67. Paul Dunne -3 (E)
67. Matt Kuchar -3 (-1)
67. Edoardo Molinari -3 (-1)
83. Shubhankar Sharma -2 (E)
83. Chris Wood -2 (E)
83. Hideki Matsuyama -2 (E)
98. Martin Kaymer -1 (E)
98. Rafa Carbrera-Bello -1 (-3)
98. Ernie Els -1 (-1)
98. Phil Mickelson -1 (E)
118. Peter Uihlein E (-2)
118. Julian Suri E (+1)
118. Darren Clarke E (-1)
129. Andy Sullivan +1 (E)
129. Kevin Chappell +1 (+2)
129. Thomas Bjorn +1 (+1)
143. Matt Wallace +3 (+2)
147. Padaraig Harrington +4 (+1)


HOW ROBERT ROCK SCORED THE LEAD

Cumulative through 36 holes
Par-3 Scoring: -4 (4 Birdies, 4 Pars)
Par-4 Scoring: -6 (6 Birdies, 18 Pars)
Par-5 Scoring: -3 (3 Birdies, 1 Par)
Total Scoring: -13 (13 Birdies, 23 Pars)
Key Strokes Gained: Rock has birdied Nos. 1 (+0.78), 8 (+0.91), and 12 (+0.97) both days, gaining 3.47 strokes on the field over these three holes.


QUOTABLE: ROBERT ROCK

“My swing didn’t feel as good today but I managed to get a better score out of it which surprising but that is part of the four-round process. If you can do that when you don’t feel quite as good, that’s something. That gave me a bit of hope because I know generally, four days, I don’t get four days of everything feeling great. I generally have three days of feeling great and one iffy one. I hope this was the iffy one; it might not be, but I’m used to that sort of scenario happening over four days.”
– Robert Rock

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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