Friday, October 14, 2016

Paul Lawrie, Richie Ramsay and Luke Donald miss cut

Bland leads British Masters by one at halfway

Home hope Richard Bland holds a narrow lead at the halfway stage of the British Masters supported by Sky Sports after producing a flawless 64 today.
The Englishman made seven birdies - including six on his back nine - to move to 11 under and overtake early clubhouse leaders Andrew Johnston and Alex Noren at the top of the leaderboard.
Johnston and Noren share second place on ten under after completing their second rounds in 65 shots, while Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Anthony Wall and Scotland's Scott Jamieson are another shot back.
Bland, who is searching for his first European Tour victory, was a single shot off the lead heading into day two after Thursday's 67.
And the 43 year old reached the turn in 34 after picking up a shot at the par-five second.
Bland made a sensational start to his back nine, making gains at the tenth and 12th before firing back-to-back birdies at the 14th and 15th to get to nine under.
After joining Noren and Johnston at the top of the leaderboard when he rolled in from ten feet for another birdie at the 17th, Bland sunk his 18-foot birdie putt at the last to take the outright lead.
After his second round, Bland said: "I've holed out fantastically well, not only these last two days but probably over the last three or four months.
"If I can keep that going, hopefully I'll be there on Sunday.
"Whenever you play at home, either here or at Wentworth, you've got your family there supporting. Other people come up, your friends, so it's nice just to hear those extra cheers for you."
Johnston, beginning his round at the tenth tee, notched birdies at the 11th, 15th and 18th to reach the turn in 33.
And the Englishman rolled in from ten feet at the first to move to eight under.
Johnston dropped a shot at the short fourth but he bounced back in style, firing three straight birdies from the fifth.
After dropping another shot at the eighth, Johnston holed his tricky birdie putt at the ninth to join playing partner Noren on ten under.
He said: "I'm very happy. I thought I played well yesterday in the wind and managed to make a few more birdies today."

Noren, meanwhile, opened his second round with back-to-back birdies before adding another at the 13th.
The Swede made further gains at the 17th and 18th and rolled in from ten feet at the first to get to ten under.
Noren fired another birdie at the fifth before finding himself three shots clear when he holed his 25-foot birdie putt at the eighth and nearest challenger Johnston carded a bogey at the same hole.
But Noren finished his round with a double bogey at the ninth to fall back to ten under.
Noren was pleased with his day's work despite dropping two shots at his last hole. He said: "Sometimes it goes like that. I'm happy about today. I played a lot better than yesterday."
The cut fell at 142 and Paul Lawrie (70 for 143) was one of the non-qualifiers. So too was fellow Aberdonian Richie Ramsay with a 73 for 144.
Tournament host Luke Donald shot a second-round 70 but he too, with a tally of 147, is sidelined for the second half of the tournament.

par 142 (2x71)
131 R Bland 67 64
132 A Noren 67 65, A Johnston 67 65
133 S Jamieson 68 65, T Fleetwood 66 67, A Wall 68 65

135 M Warren 66 69, L Westwood 67 68 (T11)
137 S Gallacher 70 67 (T17)
139 C Lee 70 69 (T37)
143 P Lawrie 73 70, G Wright 70 73 (T74)
144 R Ramsay 71 73 (T85)
147 L Donald 77 70 (T103)



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