Unheralded Scot Chris Doak has claimed a one-shot lead at the half-way stage of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Castle Stuart.

Doak, who previously made headlines in Scotland after blaming a bad night's sleep at a tournament in 2011 on his dog's flatulence, is playing only his second full season on the European Tour at the age of 35.

But the Glaswegian carded a second consecutive 66 to finish one shot ahead of English pair Matthew Southgate and Ross Fisher, American Peter Uihlein and Denmark's JB Hansen, with world number eight Phil Mickelson four off the lead on eight under after a 70. 

Damien McGrane is the best of the Irish on eight under after a round of 67. Shane Lowry, Gareth Maybin and Paul McGinley are three shots further back on five under. 

Open champion Ernie Els missed the cut just days before the defence of his title at Muirfield,

The South African made made an early exit after a second round of 70 left him two under par, 10 shots behind the leader.  

"The first time around on the European Tour I was still wet behind the ears but the Challenge Tour definitely taught me how to play four rounds and handle the travel," said Doak, whose previous biggest payday of £28,000 is dwarfed by the first prize this week of £500,000.

"It's a tough environment because there are a lot of great players out there and you need to be consistent because there is not as much money. But anything that's worth learning takes time and hopefully it's coming together now.

"It's fantastic to shoot 66 and follow it up with another one and I'm really pleased."