Russell Knox rises and shines at Scottish Open

An 11-hour sleep and a hearty Scottish breakfast sparked the latest impressive round in Russell Knox’s glorious summer of golf, putting him in contention to seal back-to-back wins on the European Tour at the Scottish Open on Saturday.

Knox mastered the windiest conditions of the week over the Gullane links to shoot a 4-under-par 66 in the third round, leaving him two strokes off surprise leader Jens Dantorb (68) and one behind a six-way tie for second place in the event used as a tune-up for next week’s British Open.

The Scotsman doesn’t want this summer to end. After placing 12th at the US Open last month for his best finish at a major, Knox was runner-up at the French Open and then won the Irish Open last week thanks to consecutive 40-foot birdie putts on the 72nd hole and first playoff hole.


Now, he’s got a great chance to win his home championship, a week before heading to the British Open also in Scotland. There’s also potentially the not-so-small matter of a first appearance at the Ryder Cup in September.

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‘‘I’m loving the way I’m swinging and the putts are going in,’’ Knox said. ‘‘I’m just playing with a smile on my face.’’

The 49th-ranked Knox said his energy levels were low on Friday following his big weeks in France and Ireland, but he ‘‘slept like a king’’ and enjoyed a ‘‘huge breakfast’’ including his favorite Scottish bread. It clearly did the trick.

On a day when Robert Rock — the overnight leader by two shots on 13 under — plunged down the field after a 76, Knox found himself tied for eighth place and among the lead groups teeing off late on Sunday because of TV scheduling.

PGA — Michael Kim spent his 25th birthday moving within 18 holes of his first PGA Tour victory.


Kim took a five-shot lead at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., in a third round delayed twice for a total of roughly four hours because of bad weather and concerns over lightning.

Kim, who has just one top-10 finish in 84 PGA starts, shot a 7-under 64 — closing with four straight birdies — for a three-day total of 22-under 191.

Bronson Burgoon (66) was 17 under and Matt Jones (66) was 16 under. But if Kim plays as well on Sunday as he did while celebrating his birthday, the former Cal star will likely cruise to victory.

‘‘Coming into the day I told myself, ‘It’s your birthday. Try and have as stress-free a day as possible.’ I’m very satisfied with the score I shot,’’ Kim said.

Harold Varner III (66) was alone in fourth at 15 under. Andres Romero was 14 under after shooting 64, as was Sam Ryder (67).


Tyler Duncan had the day’s best round with a 63.

The players who weren’t able to complete Friday’s second round because of bad weather, a group that included Kim, did so earlier Saturday. The field was then subjected to two more weather delays — this time of 2½ hours and then 1½ hours.

Kim was the NCAA player of the year for Cal in 2013, but he’s yet to stand out as a pro. His best finish on tour was a tie for third at the 2016 Safeway Open.

On Friday, Kim was four strokes ahead and in the middle of playing the 18th hole when play was suspended for the second and final time. He missed an 8-footer for par when play resumed early Saturday, his only bogey of the second round.

Kim was both steady and, at times, spectacular. He pushed his lead to three strokes by hitting his approach from 144 yards to 7 feet on the par-4 13th. A 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 15th kicked off his strong finish. Kim’s final three birdies were all from inside 15 feet.

LPGA —Brooke Henderson didn’t have her best stuff at the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio, but she did enough to stay on top of the leaderboard.

The 20-year-old Canadian made three bogeys in Saturday’s third round after not dropping a shot a day earlier. A bogey on the par-3 14th dropped her into a three-way tie for the lead, but Henderson responded with a birdie on the par-5 17th to move back ahead by one stroke. She shot a 2-under 69 for a three-day total of 11-under 202 at Highland Meadows.

Henderson has six LPGA Tour wins, including one earlier this season. This is the fifth time in her career she has held the 54-hole lead. She went on to win on three of the four prior occasions.

Angela Stanford and Brittany Lincicome were one stroke behind. Stanford vaulted into contention with a 6-under 65, which tied for the low round of the day.

Seeking her first win since 2012, Stanford has shot back-to-back 65s after an opening-round 73. She credited a hot putter for her surge.

Lincicome had a 4-under 67, including birdies on two of the final three holes. In 10 previous Marathon Classics, her best finish was a tie for seventh in 2008.

Jacqui Concolino was two strokes back while 11 players were three back, including defending champion I.K. Kim and NCAA champion Jennifer Kupcho. The Wake Forest player is in the field on a sponsor’s exemption.

Champions — Defending champion Scott McCarron and Bart Bryant shot matching 65s to move into a share of the lead with Jeff Maggert at the Constellation Senior Players Championship in Highland Park, Ill.

McCarron birdied two of the final four holes for a three-round total of 16-under 200 in the fourth of five majors on the PGA Tour Champions schedule.

Maggert, who led most of the day, shot 66.

Vijay Singh (66) was one shot back.

McCarron had eight birdies and a bogey on a rainy afternoon. He opened with a birdie on the par-5 first hole and came on strong on the back nine.

He made three straight birdies, starting with the par-4 10th, and added two more on the par-5 15th and par-4 17th. He also limited his mistakes.

Senior women — Laura Davies has a five-shot lead after three rounds of the first US Senior Women’s Open in Wheaton, Ill.

The British golfer birdied six holes as she shot a 7-under 66. Davies, who is at 11-under 208 for the tournament, took control with a 60-foot, twisting, downhill eagle putt on the par-5 12th hole.