- Shane Lowry leads the Wales Open after the second round in Newport
- Stephen Gallacher missed the cut on last showing before Ryder Cup debut
- Lee Westwood almost followed him before being rescued by pair of birdies
- Jamie Donaldson could become the first Welshman to win tournament
Shane Lowry shot a six-under par 65 to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the Wales Open on Friday, while Stephen Gallacher missed the cut in his last tournament before his Ryder Cup debut.
Lowry didn’t drop a shot as he moved to a nine-under 133, one shot ahead of Joost Luiten (69) and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, who eagled the 18th hole for the second day in a row in shooting a 68.
Gallacher failed to recover from his opening round of 78 at Celtic Manor, with his second round 70 leaving him five shots below the cut line.
Shane Lowry shot a 65 to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the Wales Open in Newport
Stephen Gallacher’s Ryder Cup preparations suffered a blow after he missed the cut
‘I’ve missed the cut but there’s no alarm bells ringing and I am looking forward now to next week,’ Gallacher said. ‘I just felt that I was trying maybe a wee bit too hard yesterday and teeing-up thinking too much about next week, whereas today I was a lot more focused… I feel good both mentally and physically so there should be no concern come next Friday.’
Fellow Ryder Cup player Lee Westwood nearly missed the cut but birdied two of his closing four holes for a 69 to sit nine shots behind Lowry. Westwood will be playing in his ninth straight Ryder Cup appearance for Europe, but this is his first tournament since missing the cut at The Barclays last month.
Lee Westwood (R) walks by potential Ryder Cup partner Jamie Donaldson, who could become first Welshman to win his home tournament
‘With the Ryder Cup next week I needed to play all four rounds here, so after not being too competitive yesterday when it was pretty scrappy, I played bit more solid today,’ Westwood said. ‘After taking three weeks off I am not quite match fit and you do lose your sharpness, so that’s the pleasing thing about getting those two birdies.’
Jamie Donaldson, another Ryder Cup rookie, remains well-placed to become the first Welshman to win the Wales Open after a bogey-free 67 put him four shots back. Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, who is playing in his first Ryder Cup since 2002, added a 69 to move to 2 under.
Jose Maria Olazabal, Europe’s winning captain in 2012, missed the cut after scores of 82 and 76 before also heading north to Scotland as a vice-captain at Gleneagles.
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