A solid three under par second round from Zander Lombard sees the South African lead the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at the halfway point.
Friday’s 67 added to his opening day 64 has Lombard in a one-stroke lead, on nine under par, from England’s Eddie Pepperell, who shot a 67 today.
Three players are tied for third place, Abraham Ancer from Mexico, Jorge Campillo of Spain and England’s Lee Westwood.
Overnight leader, Ireland’s Pádraig Harrington had a difficult day, posting just two birdies, along with 5 damaging bogies in his 73, which has seen the Dubliner slide down the leaderboard.
“Look, you go out there, you’re tentative, and it really was tough conditions.” said Harrington, “You know, all my bogeys, like three of them were three-putts, the other two were chips from the edge of the greens, so I could have negated them with a good short game, and you need a good short game on a bad day, as it was. You know, just the two of those things, a bit tentative, and I could have been a little sharper with the short game.”
The much hoped-for challenge from Shane Lowry failed to materalise as the Offaly player shot a second round two over par 72 for a two-round total of 138, which is -2 and 7 shots off the leader.
The top Irish player at present is Cormac Sharvin who added a 69 to yesterday’s 66, leaving him four shots off the lead, on five under par.
The Downpatrick-born player, who required a sponsors invite to compete this week, had three birdies, on holes 9, 16 and 18 respectively, but blotched his day’s scorecard twice with an opening hole bogey and another at the par 4 17th hole.
“I didn’t feel like I played great today to be honest” Sharvin said, “The stepping stone of the second round was always going to be the most difficult for me, to follow up a good start to one of the biggest events in the world.”
US-based Séamus Power had six birdies on the back nine, including five in the first six holes after the turn. A bogey at the second and a costly double-bogey two holes later, saw the Waterford man card a 66 for a four under par two-round total of 136, moving to within five shots of the South African leader Zander Lombard.
Paul Dunne and Paul McBride shot second rounds of 69 and 70 respectively but failed to make the cut.
Both Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell will have the weekend off, however, with the former ending his two days at Lahinch on +7, while the latter, who recently qualified for the Open Championship at Royal Portrush in a few weeks, signed for a 72 today (+2) leaving him four shots outside the cut.
Graeme McDowell said of his performance:
“A bit disappointing. First missed cut of the year and I have to wait until I come to the Irish Open to do it, but it’s always disappointing to miss the weekend here, especially here at a great golf course like Lahinch.”
Other Irish players whose interest in this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open are Conor O’Rourke, Brian Casey, Gavin Moynihan and Michael McGeady.