US Open: Lawrie breaks par to lift into top 20

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PAUL Lawrie led the Scottish challenge at the US Open at Merion yesterday, lifting himself into the top 20 by breaking par for the first time this week.

The Aberdonian celebrated his OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list by compiling a hard-fought round of 69, one under for the day and six over for the championship.

He got off to a flyer with birdies at the first and second holes but suffered a setback with back-to-back bogeys at five and six.

Lawrie, pictured, quickly regained his composure, however, and the highlight of his round came at the par-four tenth where he shot an eagle two. A birdie at 13 followed but bogeys at the 15th and 17th took some of the gloss off for the former Open champion.

Russell Knox, making his US Open debut, found the going tough. A disastrous quadruple bogey eight at the 15th was the lowlight of his third round. The Inverness golfer, who is based in the US, finished up with a round of 77, seven under for the day and 11 under for the tournament.

Having begun on Thursday with a 69, it was hard going for Knox.

Two shots further behind was compatriot Martin Laird whose six-under-par round of 76 pushed him out to 13 over ahead of today’s final round.

Chris Doak, the fourth Scot in the field in Merion, failed to make the cut. Making his major debut, Doak’s second round score of 77 coupled with an opening 73 left him two adrift of the mark needed to make the weekend.

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