Friday, June 29, 2018

 
Russell Knox T10 at halfway in Open de France

                  EUROPEAN TOUR COMMUNICATIONS
Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult produced a stunning second-round 65 to move clear of Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas – two of the world’s top five players – and Ryder Cup player Chris Wood at the halfway mark of HNA Open de France, the third Rolex Series event on the European Tour in 2018.
Kinhult reached the turn at Le Golf National, Paris in just 30 shots to surge up the star-studded leaderboard. He then mixed two birdies and two bogeys on the back nine to set the pace on six under par 136.
Remarkably, the 21-year-old heads into the weekend two shots clear of Englishman Wood despite opening his debut in the HNA Open de France with four consecutive bogeys on Thursday. Since then, he has posted 11 birdies, as well as an eagle three on the third hole of his second round, as he chases a first European Tour victory.
Wood is Kinhult’s nearest challenger after he birdied the last hole for a round of 68 to move to four under par, swapping places with Welshman Bradley Dredge, who dropped consecutive shots on the 17th and 18th holes in a round of 72 to slip back to three under par.
American Thomas and Spaniard Rahm, ranked second and fifth in the world respectively, both had double bogeys on their second- round scorecards, but both remain well placed to mount a weekend challenge at the venue where they will be hoping to make their Ryder Cup debuts in September.
Rahm sits in a share of third position with Dredge after a round of 69, which included an eagle on the third hole and a six on the par four 15th, while Thomas reached four under par after his third birdie of the day on the 15th, but gave two shots back on the 17th to finish the day on two under and in a share of fifth position after signing for a 70.
France’s Gregory Havret posted the same round score and total and he will lead the home challenge over the final two rounds as one of only 15 players currently under par for the tournament.
Florida-based Russell Knox (pictured) from Inverness is T10 on 141 and is well placed to make a move up over the weekend.
Lee Westwood retired after a first-round 77.
Marc Warren was disqualified.
Player Quotes
Marcus Kinhult: “It feels really good. I got off to a great start and played well from there. I guess the wind picked up a little bit on the back nine, the last four or five holes or so, but yeah, happy overall.
“I think it gets firmer throughout the day as well. So just hitting the fairways is a lot more tough. And on the back nine especially, it's a cross wind on every tee shot. So it's very important to get the right shape to be able to hit fairways.
“I haven't thought about it yet, but Saturday is going to be a big day, and hopefully on Sunday as well. It's a position I have never been in before, so we'll see.”
Chris Wood: “You're going to have to grind over the week. I think I heard Matt Fitzpatrick say this morning there's not any hole where you feel like you get a stretch of where you can relax, but feel like there's a few chances.
“Every shot you have to be on it. It's brilliant, though. It's a great test. I've always loved the golf course, but never really been able to produce a score. So it's nice to put a score in today, three-under is pretty good out there.
“It's been pretty hard for a while now, but just got to keep going, just never give up really. Just keep working and eventually you'll see a glimmer of light.”
Jon Rahm: “The course was probably three shots easier than yesterday I would say. Played early in the morning when the greens were perfect, so shot one shot better. Actually played a lot worse and I was able to scramble a couple of holes. Probably about as low of round as I could have done today.
“Two of my poorest shots of the two days so far, at ten and 15. Misjudged the wind both days, and today it was a poor decision. A little miscommunication between me and caddie Adam as well but that's what happens out here.
“I'm not the only one hitting balls in the water and I'm not the only one having bad luck on a couple of holes. It all balances out at the end. I also made a great putt on 11 starting out the day. That eagle on three at the beginning of the day, you can always look at some good breaks to balance it out.”
Justin Thomas: “It was one of the better rounds I've had in a while. I could have shoot a one under on the front easy, could have shot a three or four under. I had total control of my ball, drove it beautifully, hit some really, really quality iron shots. The greens are a little bumpy in the afternoon, so that made it difficult to make some putts, but I stayed patient and was able to make a couple there.”
“Just had one mistake on 17, I didn't hit a bad shot. I just kind of had a freaky little wind switch there and the ball went 20 yards farther than we thought it was going to. So it's unfortunate to finish how we did, but we really played well today.
“It's just a hard golf course - that in itself is the challenge - just playing this golf course. It's very narrow. You have to hit the fairways to have birdie chances into the greens. And I hit a couple of tee shots today that were literally a yard and a half off the fairway and I had a tough lie in the rough and you were just trying to make par from there.”
Second Round Scores
par 142 (2x71)
136 M Kinhult (Swe) 71 65
138 C Wood (Eng) 70 68
139 J Rahm (Spn) 70 69, B Dredge (Wales) 67 72
140 G Havret (Fra) 70 70, J Suri (USA) 70 70, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 71 69, J Thomas (USA) 70 70
141 P Oriol (Spn) 71 70, P Dunne (Ire) 74 67, T Hatton (Eng) 74 67, R Knox (Sco) 71 70, A Quiros (Spn) 74 67, J Smith (Eng) 71 70, M Ilonen (Finland) 72 69
142 D Frittelli (SAf) 71 71, T Pieters (Belgium) 69 73, L Bjerregaard (Denmark) 76 66, N Elvira (Spn) 74 68, A Björk (Swe) 73 69, S Garcia (Spn) 72 70
143 D Burmester (SAf) 69 74, A Connelly (Canada) 72 71, A Sullivan (Eng) 68 75, R Jacquelin (Fra) 75 68, R Fox (NZ) 72 71, H Sturehed (Swe) 75 68, T Detry (Belgium) 74 69, F Zanotti (Paraguay) 74 69
144 R Bland (Eng) 72 72, G Coetzee (SAf) 74 70, J Morrison (Eng) 70 74, N Bertasio (Ita) 76 68, J Campillo (Spn) 73 71, S Kjeldsen (Denmark) 72 72, A Otaegui (Spn) 74 70, H Li (China) 71 73, W Ormsby (Australia) 73 71, S Hend (Australia) 75 69, M Southgate (Eng) 71 73
145 S Lowry (Ire) 70 75, J Winther (Denmark) 77 68, S Brazel (Australia) 73 72, A Noren (Swe) 73 72, P Khongwatmai (Thailand) 71 74, S Brown (Eng) 77 68, G McDowell (NIre) 68 77, S Sharma (India) 76 69, F Aguilar (Chile) 71 74, A Chesters (Eng) 73 72, J Kruyswijk (SAf) 76 69, J Dantorp (Swe) 74 71, S Gallacher (Sco) 74 71, R Gouveia (Portugal) 71 74
146 A Pavan (Ita) 72 74, J Geary (NZ) 73 73, I Poulter (Eng) 72 74, B Rumford (Australia) 71 75, H Tanihara (Japan) 71 75, A Levy (Fra) 73 73, M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 77 69, D Horsey (Eng) 75 71, J Donaldson (Wales) 71 75, R Sterne (SAf) 74 72, M Schwab (Austria) 74 72
147 D Lipsky (USA) 77 70, R Cabrera Bello (Spn) 73 74, T Fleetwood (Eng) 74 73, J Norris (Australia) 77 70, S Han (USA) 70 77, R Paratore (Ita) 77 70
148 M Baldwin (Eng) 76 72, T Jaidee (Thailan) 76 72, R Ramsay (Sco) 73 75, M Nixon (Eng) 74 74, L Slattery (Eng) 72 76, D Willett (Eng) 73 75, O Fisher (Eng) 72 76, C Ford (Eng) 72 76, M Wallace (Eng) 74 74, C Paisley (Eng) 77 71, M Fraser (Australia) 73 75, M Manassero (Ita) 75 73, M Foster (Eng) 74 74
149 N Colsaerts (Belgium) 73 76, S Chawrasia (India) 75 74, C Hanson (Eng) 79 70, T Olesen (Denmark) 72 77, R Karlsson (Swe) 69 80, B Stone (SAf) 74 75, J Walters (SAf) 72 77, L Canter (Eng) 75 74, S Horsfield (Eng) 78 71, S Jamieson (Sco) 74 75, R Langasque (Fra) 76 73, L Jensen (Denmark) 77 72
150 D Drysdale (Sco) 73 77, C Syme (Sco) 75 75, P Hanson (Swe) 75 75, Z Lombard (SAf) 77 73, N Geyger (Chile) 77 73, R Rock (Eng) 77 73
151 J Wang (SKor) 76 75, C Bezuidenhout (SAf) 80 71, R Fisher (Eng) 79 72, L Gagli (Ita) 76 75, M Kieffer (Ger) 75 76, M Siem (Ger) 77 74, J Choi (SKor) 81 70, R Wattel (Fra) 76 75, B Hebert (Fra) 77 74, A Wu (China) 79 72, M Korhonen (Finland) 72 79
152 A Saddier (Fra) 74 78, J Quesne (Fra) 75 77, A Rai (Eng) 80 72, T Immelman (SAf) 76 76, P Waring (Eng) 80 72, E Van Rooyen (SAf) 77 75, P Larrazábal (Spn) 75 77, Y Miyazato (Japan) 75 77, J Scrivener (Australia) 80 72
153 J Guerrier (Fra) 81 72, A Romero (Argentina) 73 80, E Molinari (Ita) 74 79, G Green (Malaysia) 76 77, D Fichardt (SAf) 76 77, S Fernandez (Spn) 79 74, M Kaymer (Ger) 77 76, R Evans (Eng) 80 73, O Farr (Wales) 79 74
154 H Porteous (SAf) 81 73, G Bourdy (Fra) 80 74, S Gros (Fra) 73 81
155 G Fernandez - Castaño (Spn) 79 76, C Blomstrand (Swe) 79 76, S Lee (SKor) 79 76, D Howell (Eng) 74 81
156 R Cho (SKor) 78 78, C Sordet (Fra) 78 78
157 V Perez (Fra) 77 80
158 C Pigem (Spn) 80 78, D Im (USA) 76 82, B Neil (Sco) 79 79, T Aiken (SAf) 80 78, M Pavon (Fra) 85 73, T Bjørn (Denmark) 81 77, T Pulkkanen (Finland) 82 76
159 J Lagergren (Swe) 79 80
160 D Brooks (Eng) 79 81
161 A Bland (Aus) 84 77, C Koepka (USA) 81 80
162 R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 83 79
165 A Dodt (Australia) 81 84
169 J Olazábal (Spn) 85 84
** L Westwood (Eng) 77 RT, C Shinkwin (Eng) 81 RT, M Warren (Sco) 79 DQ, A Johnston (Eng) 82 WD,

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