GULLANE, Scotland (AP) — Robert Rock was already heading to Carnoustie next week to work at the British Open in a coaching capacity.
He might now have to take his clubs.
Rock, ranked No. 244, set the record for the lowest 36-hole total since the Scottish Open was launched by the European Tour in 1972, adding a 7-under 63 in the second round Friday to his 64 on Day 1. So far, he has made 13 birdies and not dropped a shot.
Not only did it give the English golfer a two-shot lead on 13-under 127 at Gullane, it also gave him a great chance of earning one of the final qualification spots for the British Open just up the east coast of Scotland. He needs to be one of the leading three players to finish in the top 10 who is not otherwise exempt.
"It's everything for me," Rock said.
On a day when players shot low scores because of a lack of wind, the course record was broken twice — by Connor Syme of Scotland (62) and then Hideto Tanihara of Japan (61). The layout has only been played once before, at the Scottish Open in 2015.
Tyrrell Hatton (64) and unheralded Swede Jens Dantorp (65) were the closest challengers to Rock. Eddie Pepperell (63) and Rickie Fowler (66), the winner at Gullane three years ago, were a shot further back.