Warren leads local charge
Scotland's number one Paul Lawrie may have missed the cut in the Scottish Open, but there could still be a home winner at Castle Stuart.
Marc Warren is joint third only two behind leader Francesco Molinari, while Martin Laird and Peter Whiteford are just three back in fifth.
After a joint best-of-the-day 64 - it was matched by playing partner Soren Kjeldsen and by Laird - Warren also has the chance now to grab an Open Championship debut after 10 failed attempts to qualify.
"If that happens it would be great," said the 31-year-old, who only last month played the first major of his life at the US Open.
He and Kjeldsen had a better-ball 58, the Dane going out in 29 after seven birdies in the first eight holes and Warren coming home in a 31 that included an outrageous 80-foot eagle putt after he had driven the green at the 337-yard 16th.
"It looked in all the way," he joked. "I just tried to catch Soren up on the back nine."
Laird, over from the States for the event and The Open, could re-ignite his Ryder Cup hopes with a first victory in Europe. He is currently 23rd on the standings, but has a chance to move to 11th - and that after missing the first four months of the points race because he was not a European Tour member.
"I did exactly what I needed to do to get myself back in the mix," he said. "I've got friends and family in the gallery, but also the local people cheering me on. It was great."