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Padraig Harrington during yesterday’s round of the Scottish Open. Photo: Getty Images

Padraig Harrington during yesterday’s round of the Scottish Open. Photo: Getty Images

Padraig Harrington during yesterday’s round of the Scottish Open. Photo: Getty Images

Pádraig Harrington championed the retiring Paul Lawrie for his doggedness but did not rule himself out of challenging for his 16th European Tour win in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.

Lawrie (51) called time on his 29-year European Tour career after adding a 79 to his opening 73 to miss the cut in his 620th start and Harrington (49) was quick to pay homage to the 1999 Open champion for displaying the same qualities that have made the Dubliner such a feared competitor in his 443 European Tour starts so far.

"He's been a great player and he wouldn't want to be the guy you would want to come down the stretch with," Harrington said after a one-under 70 left him 10 shots behind halfway leader Lucas Herbert of Australia on one-under. "He's just very good under pressure and that is something that has been underrated about Paul Lawrie.

Pressure

"If I was coming down the last few holes up against him, he could hit the shots required under pressure and he's proved that all the time. That was his great ability, and as much as he won tournaments, he played good golf."

The players handed a late-early draw had by far the best of the first two days with reigning Omega Dubai Desert Classic champion Herbert (24) adding a six-under 65 to his opening 66 to lead by a shot from Robert Rock (43), who shot 67, on 11-under.

Overnight leader Lee Westwood (47) had little fortune as he followed his 62 to with a 71 to share fourth on nine-under with Ian Poulter (44). But Harrington believes even the players who got the "bad side" of the draw still have the chance of winning at The Renaissance Club tomorrow.

"I actually won The Open in 2008 from the wrong side of the draw, so whenever I get on the wrong side of the draw I think, well I've done it before, especially if the forecast is bad for the weekend," said the Ryder Cup skipper, who chipped in from 25 yards for an eagle three at the third before mixing three birdies with three bogeys and a double-bogey six for his 70.

On the 18th, Harrington got up and down from a bunker for par to make sure he made the cut.

"Anybody doing really well in this tournament could really hit a wall over the weekend so there is potential, if you can catch up a few shots that someone who just makes the cut could win the tournament if there are two bad days."

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As for Lawrie, the Scot is happy to call it a day and look to his Legends Tour career and his work with Junior golf and his player agency.

"I can't play at this level, when my back's terrible, my left foot's been sore this last couple of days which it hasn't been sore," the Aberdonian said. "So it's the right thing to do. I don't want to play in tournaments and just be making up the numbers."

Graeme McDowell missed his sixth cut in a row by two strokes when he followed his encouraging first round 69 with a three-over 74.

On the LPGA Tour, Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire were among the later starters in New Jersey where Japan's Nasa Hataoka made six birdies in a four-under 67 to lead the ShopRite LPGA Classic by a shot from Korea's Mi Hyang Lee.

In Mississippi, South Africa's MJ Daffue (31) carded a three-under 69 to lead the Sanderson Farms Championship by one stroke on 10-under in the clubhouse from Denny McCarthy (27) and Norway's Kristoffer Ventura (25), a former teammate of Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff at Oklahoma State.

  • Sanderson Farms Championship, Live, Sky Sports Golf, 9.0pm
  • Scottish Open, Live, Sky Sports, 12.0pm

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