Scottish Open: Graeme McDowell three shots off lead at Castle Stuart

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell will compete in next week's Open Championship at Royal Troon

Graeme McDowell is three shots behind leader Alex Noren after round two of the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart.

The Northern Irishman carded a three-under-par 69 on Friday to lie in a tie for eighth position on five under par, along with Padraig Harrington.

Former champion McDowell posted two birdies and a bogey on his outward nine and followed that up with birdies at the 12th and 13th holes.

Belfast's Michael Hoey shot a level-par 72 to make the cut on two over par.

Swede Noren recorded a fantastic 66 to end the second day on eight under, one ahead of New Zealander Danny Lee and England's Eddie Pepperell.

McDowell, who won the tournament at Loch Lomond in 2008, has slipped to 78th in the world rankings and missed the cut at the recent French Open.

The 2010 US Open champion played two practice rounds at Royal Troon last weekend in preparation for next week's Open Championship.

Among those who failed to make the final two days were Irish trio Paul Dunne (+4), Shane Lowry (+6) and Paul McGinley (+9).