Inverness, Scotland – Chris Doak carded his second straight 6-under 66 on Friday to grab a 1-stroke lead at the Scottish Open.
Doak, who is trying to become the first Scot to win this event since Colin Montgomerie in 1999, finished 36 holes at Castle Stuart Golf Links at 12- under-par 132.
"It's absolutely phenomenal to shoot 66-66 in the first two days," said Doak. "You start the week thinking you want to go low, but to actually do it is fantastic."
Matthew Southgate fired an 8-under 64 during his second round to jump into a share of second place at 11-under. He is joined by Ross Fisher (65), JB Hansen (65) and Peter Uihlein (66).
Henrik Stenson also shot 64 on Friday to meet Victor Dubuisson (66), Lorenzo Gagli (67), James Morrison (68) and Simon Khan (69) in sixth at minus-10.
First-round leader John Parry managed an even-par 72 to finish among a large group of players four shots off the pace at 8-under.
Doak entered the second round two strokes behind overnight leader Parry, but he quickly made that up with back-to-back birdies at the second and third.
He then pulled ahead with a birdie at the sixth to make the turn at 9-under.
After picking up another shot at the 11th, the Scot eagled the par-5 12th to take the outright lead from Uihlein, who was already in the clubhouse at 11- under.
Doak later tripped to a bogey at the 17th to fall into a tie with Uihlein, but he bounced right back with a birdie at the last to move ahead.
"It's fantastic, to hear all the highland accents up here cheering you on, it's fantastic," Doak said. "I'm sure there will be a big following at the weekend. People are up for it so hopefully there's a lot more people."
Uihlein had started on the back nine earlier and fell to 3-under with a double bogey at the 12th, but he battled back to 5-under at the turn with gains at Nos. 16 and 18.
He then raced through a sizzling inward nine that included six birdies over his final eight holes to grab the clubhouse lead before Doak jumped ahead.
Southgate, Fisher and Hansen all went out with the afternoon wave and posted bogey-free rounds to grab a share of second place.
Southgate's effort consisted of six birdies and an eagle, while Fisher and Hansen recorded seven birdies in their second rounds.
NOTES: The cut line fell at 4-under-par 140, with 70 players advancing to the weekend ... That line equals the low mark of the season, tying the Joburg Open ... Those missing the cut include last year's champion Jeev Milkha Singh, the last two Open Champions Ernie Els and Darren Clarke and two-time Open Champion Padraig Harrington ... Doak is seeking his first career win on the European Tour.