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Els misses cut at Castle Stuart ahead of British Open defense

Ahead of his title defense at the British Open next week, Ernie Els missed the cut at the Scottish Open.

Story highlights

  • Ernie Els says his game is where he wants it to be despite missing the cut at Castle Stuart
  • Els is the defending champion at the British Open, which starts next week at Muirfield
  • Scotland's Chris Doak leads through two rounds, with Phil Mickelson tied for 13th

Ernie Els insists his game is in good shape despite missing the cut at the Scottish Open days before his title defense at the British Open begins.

On another day of low scores on the links course at Castle Stuart in the Scottish Highlands, Els did shoot at two-under par 70.

But his five birdies came with three bogeys to leave him tied for 97th. His overall score was also at two under, 10 shots behind surprise leader Chris Doak of Scotland.

Read: Els wins British Open

"I thought I played quite well today but I had no idea on these greens so I am glad I am leaving to get on some other greens," said Els. "A missed cut is not great but we have had a great time here.

"I did not get the run of the course, it felt like it was against me, but I am playing nicely and gave myself a lot of opportunities. My game is where I want it to be. It did not quite go my way these last two days and I made a couple of silly errors, soft bogeys, yesterday.

    "It's not the first cut I've missed and it won't be the last."

    He hopes the next one, though, won't come at Muirfield next week.

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    Doak, ranked 341st in his second full season on the European Tour, struck five birdies, one eagle and one bogey as she shot a six-under 66 for the second consecutive round.

    He has found it difficult to make an impact on the European Tour, only finishing once in the top 20 in his last 16 events. Doak, though, made his maiden appearance at a major at last month's U.S. Open at Merion.

    "It's absolutely phenomenal to shoot 66-66 in the first two days," Doak told the European Tour's website. "You start the week thinking you want to go low but to actually do it is fantastic.

    "I just feel it has been coming all year but just maybe haven't put it all together. These two days, I've definitely put it together."

    He leads four golfers by a shot, with Phil Mickelson -- the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 8 -- four shots behind Doak.

    The four-time major winner shot a 70, which wasn't as good as his 66 on Thursday.

    First-round leader John Parry is tied for 13th with Mickelson. Hindered by a pair of double bogeys, he followed his 64 with a par 72.