Matt Kuchar, Edoardo Molinari, Romain Wattel and Nino Bertasio are tied at 8 under par after their rounds of 63 left them one clear of seven players at 7 under and another six at 6 under.
Like even the best of British links layouts, their defence is more often than not determined by the wind and firmness of the playing surfaces on any given day but today neither was in evidence, a cut score of 4 or 5 under is already looking necessary just to make the weekend at the completion of 36 holes tomorrow.
Kuchar is again performing well at the Scottish Open having finished runner-up, 4th and 10th in three of his previous outings in an event he has used as a lead-in to the Open Championship and he served notice that he might yet be the man to beat this week with two eagles, five birdies and two bogeys to share the lead.
Kuchar is playing well in 2019 and after his round talked of the joy he has in playing in Scotland.
“When I come to a place like this, I come to the Scottish Open and I can't wait to play here and I can't wait for next week,” said the man who might just attract a lot of supporters for a major breakthrough next week. “There's still a love and a passion and excitement for it.
“It's been a great year. I've really enjoyed it. Golf is fun when you're playing well. It's even fun when you're not playing well. I've had a couple of those and it just kind of drives me to fix things and get better. But right now, when it's going well, I'm really enjoying it.
“I still feel like I'm a 26-year-old kid. I know there are some mornings where I really know I'm not 26, but I feel like that. I feel like there's still that excitement for the game, that love for the game."
Molinari is not only the brother of the current Open Champion, Francesco, but he is a former US Amateur Champion and Ryder Cup player and a former winner of this event having won in 2010 although his deeds on the golf course pale in comparison to those of his brother at this stage.
Molinari’s most recent form, however, has shown he is back on track with his game having finished 3rd recently at the BMW International in Germany and 9th last week in Ireland.
“I've been playing really consistent golf in the last two months probably, but I'm starting to putt much better," said the Italian.
“Last week was quite good and today again was definitely another improvement. So, I'm very happy with my game at the moment, and just go day by day and see what happens.
“I think it's just consistency in my practice and what I'm doing on and off the golf course. I'm in a good place at the minute. It seems like every week I'm playing better.”
Lucas Herbert leads the Australians but despite his round of 4 under 67 he is tied for 29th. An outward nine of 32 had him set up for something even better but the momentum slowed on his way in.
Herbert is two ahead of the next best of the Australians, Jason Scrivener with Queenslander Jake McLeod another shot back.
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