Scottish Open

  • Castle Stuart Golf Links, Inverness, Scotland July 12th - July 15th
  • Par: 72

Completed

Round 4 Concluded - Jeev Milkha Singh won at 1st extra hole

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  • Last Updated: Saturday July 14 2012, 17:50 BST

Asking for a late invitation to the Scottish Open could turn out to be one of the best decisions of Phil Mickelson's career - even if he cannot catch Francesco Molinari in the final round.

Phil Mickelson: Finding his form
Phil Mickelson: Finding his form

Outside the top 120 after an opening 73 the American star, with one eye on the coming Open Championship, has charged all the way to joint fifth after adding a 65 to his 64 on Friday.

Among the players he moved past was world number one and defending champion Luke Donald, but he still trails Molinari by three.

The Italian's 67 to reach 17 under par, one better than Dane Anders Hansen, keeps him on course to emulate the victory two years ago by his brother Edoardo.

It would be only the second time in European Tour history brothers have lifted the same title. Spaniards Antonio and German Garrido won the Madrid Open in in 1977 and 1973 respectively.

Scot Marc Warren and Dane Soren Kjeldsen are now joint third only two back. Playing together, they both shot 64 and now lead the battle for the one Open spot up for grabs at the tournament.

Last July Mickelson went from finishing only 58th at Castle Stuart to joint runner-up behind Darren Clarke at Sandwich, so no wonder he is so looking forward to what next weekend may now bring.

He has been trying to win The Open since 1991 - just as Clarke had been when he finally made it.

Eight days ago the 42-year-old was not even going to be in Inverness, but after a run of seven successive rounds over par and a missed cut at the Greenbrier Classic he decided to change plans.

"I should have had it planned out originally, but there was a chance to take the kids to Italy," he said.

"I'm very pleased and excited. Given my three previous events it would have been asking a lot to get ready for Thursday (the start of The Open) if I hadn't played here.

"This course is so good at getting you ready for playing links golf. It does not beat you up so much."

That is demonstrated by the scoring this week - with no significant wind yet the halfway cut fell at four under, only two off the Tour record.

"I'll be trying to make a run at the lead, but more than that I feel like my game is starting to improve every day.

"Hopefully I'll have a good round and that will give me some momentum heading into next week as well.

"I'm excited about the (last two) scores because I haven't been playing at that level, even though I knew it wasn't that far off."

He was slow off the blocks with a front nine 35, but then had six birdies coming home in 30.

Molinari was joint leader with Alex Noren at halfway and the matched each other hole-for-hole going to the turn in 32.

But then Molinari added a fifth birdie on the 10th and Noren hit his drive down the long 12th into the gorse on the right and ran up a triple bogey eight.

Molinari, who took the lead with a course record 62 in the first round, has been receiving text messages of support from Edoardo, who two weeks ago had wrist surgery.

"He said he'll be watching," the 29-year-old stated. "He's probably a bit bored - he has not started rehab yet and is just resting."

Having been runner-up in last week's French Open - after a closing 64 - Molinari has the chance to leap from 10th all the way to second in the Ryder Cup standings with only six more weeks of qualifying to go.

"I'm satisfied with that 67. I played really well, especially on the front nine, and didn't make the mistakes I did yesterday.

"I'm feeling good. Obviously last week was a good week and I came here with confidence in my game."

Hansen was in the final group with David Howell in Paris, but shot 75 and fell away to 11th. He has the chance to make amends after a 64.

Donald returned a 68 containing seven birdies, but also three bogeys.

"A couple of loose iron shots costs me," he said, but when reminded he closed with a 63 to win by four a year ago he replied: "I hope there's another low one in me.

"If it's calm again I'm going to have to shoot a number like that."

Joint fifth with Mickelson are Noren and Warren's fellow Scots Martin Laird and Peter Whiteford, who is also chasing the Open place.

Collated third round scores and totals, Castle Stuart Golf Links, Inverness, Scotland

(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

199 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 62 70 67

200 Anders Hansen (Den) 68 67 65

201 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 65 72 64, Marc Warren 68 69 64

202 Phil Mickelson (USA) 73 64 65, Alexander Noren (Swe) 66 66 70, Peter Whiteford 71 65 66, Martin Laird 68 70 64

203 Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 64 71 68, Luke Donald 67 68 68, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (Ind) 67 67 69, Peter Lawrie 66 69 68, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 70 68 65, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 67 70 66, Thomas Levet (Fra) 68 69 66

204 Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 66 70 68, Shane Lowry 66 69 69, Richard Green (Aus) 68 69 67, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 67 68 69, Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 68 69 67, Simon Dyson 68 69 67, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 69 69 66

205 Robert Jan Derksen (Ned) 71 68 66, Phillip Price 68 69 68, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 69 70 66, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 65 71 69, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 68 70 67, Stephen Gallacher 68 72 65, Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 66 72 67, Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe) 71 68 66, Padraig Harrington 69 69 67

206 Andrew Johnston 69 70 67, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 70 67 69, Andrew Marshall 66 72 68, Matteo Manassero (Ita) 69 64 73, Matthew Baldwin 67 68 71

207 Alex Haindl (Rsa) 70 68 69, Chris Wood 68 72 67, Ross Fisher 68 70 69, David Horsey 68 72 67, Anthony Wall 67 68 72, Andy Sullivan 69 69 69, Niclas Fasth (Swe) 70 70 67, Alastair Forsyth 71 68 68

208 Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 69 64 75, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 70 65 73, Robert Coles 66 71 71, David Dixon 68 71 69, Jbe Kruger (Rsa) 72 68 68, Ernie Els (Rsa) 70 70 68, Rhys Davies 72 68 68, Jack Mcdonald 70 70 68

209 Joel Sjoholm (Swe) 70 68 71, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 68 69 72, Marcel Siem (Ger) 71 69 69, David Lynn 71 67 71, Steven O'Hara 69 71 69, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 69 71 69, Jose Manuel Lara (Spa) 68 72 69

210 Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 69 71 70, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 73 67 70, George Coetzee (Rsa) 69 69 72, Oscar Floren (Swe) 67 72 71

211 Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa) 69 70 72, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 68 67 76, Daniel Denison 70 70 71, Tim Sluiter (Ned) 73 66 72, Lee Slattery 71 67 73

212 Mikael Lundberg (Swe) 72 68 72, Steve Webster 69 68 75, Maarten Lafeber (Ned) 68 72 72

213 Tjaart Van Der Walt (Rsa) 70 70 73, Branden Grace (Rsa) 72 68 73, James Morrison 72 67 74, Richard Wallis 72 68 73

214 David Howell 70 67 77

216 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 69 71 76