Scottish Open: Graeme McDowell moves to within four of the lead at Dundonald Links

Graeme McDowell's round on Saturday included eight birdies
The Scottish Open is McDowell's last chance to qualify for next week's Open Championship at Royal Birkdale

Graeme McDowell moved into contention at the Scottish Open after firing an eight-birdie 68 in Saturday's third round at Dundonald Links.

McDowell's card left him four off the pace heading into Sunday's final round.

English duo Ian Poulter and Callum Shinkin lead on nine under along with Australian Andrew Dodt.

Joint overnight leader Padraig Harrington dropped out of contention after firing a 79 as he struggled in wet and windy conditions.

Harrington led on nine under overnight along with Shinkin and Germany's Alexandre Knappe but six bogeys and a double bogey saw him dropped seven off the pace.

McDowell's topsy-turvy round kept alive his hopes of securing one of the three remaining qualification spots for next week's Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

For those who have not already won a place in the major, three places are up for grabs with a top-10 finish in Ayrshire.

McDowell, who will go into the final round in a share of eighth place, only survived into the weekend on Friday after a closing birdie.

That saw him signing for a four-under-par 68, which he matched on Saturday.

After an opening birdie on Saturday, 2010 US Open champion McDowell double bogeyed the long third but a run of three straight birdies from the sixth saw him going to the turn in 34.

The Northern Irishman carded four further birdies on the back nine although he also dropped shots at the 10th and 13th.

Paul Dunne, who also doesn't have an Open Championship spot, was the leading Irishman on six under after carding an impressive 69 on Saturday.

Rory McIlroy suffered a third missed cut in four events after a second round 71 left him on one over and two outside the mark.

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