WHEN you’re stuck in a rut, you can always get by with a little help from your friends. 

Duncan Stewart and Russell Knox may be separated by 349 places on the world rankings but the two Highlanders remain close pals.

While Stewart signed off from his Scottish Open campaign with a level-par 72 for a three-over tally, Knox was already on site at Royal Birkdale for the Open having made an early exit from the domestic showpiece.

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That was Knox’s third missed cut in his last four events as the two-time PGA Tour champion find himself in the first real slump of his career at the top table. 

Stewart is confident, however, that his old Jacksonville University team-mate can turn it round, starting at the Open this week.

“It’s not like he’s hitting horrendous shots, it’s just golf being golf to him at the moment and it can be hard,” conceded Stewart.

“It’s the first down spell he’s had since he broke through and he knew that was always going to come. It’s just lasted longer than he would have wanted.

“If he can get off to a good start and build some momentum he can be in contention at Birkdale.”

Richie Ramsay was the best of the Scots on a two-under total with Stephen Gallacher back on level-par.