Colsaerts leads at Irish Open
Nicolas Colsaerts led halfway through the Irish Open after a 67 on Friday for a one-stroke lead over Ian Poulter, Anthony Wall and Christian Cevaer.
Nicolas Colsaerts led halfway through the Irish Open after a 67 on Friday for a one-stroke lead over Ian Poulter, Anthony Wall and Christian Cevaer. Thomas Bjorn equaled the course record with a 6-under 66. Colsaerts, a 23-year-old Belgian, took advantage of decent weather to reach a 4-under-par total of 140. ''I feel I left a few out there because four or five putts just shaved the hole. It could have been a truly excellent round,'' he said. ''But 67 is pretty good because the course is not easy even if the weather was a little easier today.'' Six hours of play were lost on Thursday because of strong winds. More than 50 players still had to finish the second round ahead of the third round on Saturday. Poulter birdied four of the last six holes including the 18th for a 70. Wall, an Englishman, shot 68 while Frenchman Cevaer added a 71 to his opening 70. They were all at 3 under. Swedes Robert Karlsson and Peter Hedblom, Australia's Jarrod Lyle and Englishman Tom Whitehouse were another shot back. Paul Casey was in a big group on 1-under 143 after a 70. Denmark's Bjorn was at even par, and US Open champion Michael Campbell was another stroke back, making the cut a year after missing it. ''My putting was pretty average the last couple days but my driving was sensational for me. I think I missed two fairways yesterday and three today,'' Campbell said. ''My form has been better than last year. Conditions are really tough, so it's very promising. I'm looking forward to the next two days.'' Darren Clarke birdied three of his first four holes and shot 70 to match Campbell's total of 145, but he said he was rapidly losing interest because his ball-striking was so poor. ''I am deriving no pleasure whatsoever from playing golf at the moment. It is horrific,'' he said. ''I can't be bothered with it anymore,'' added the Northern Irishman, whose wife Heather is fighting cancer. But he did not withdraw. Padraig Harrington was also on 145 following a 74. As darkness fell, Colin Montgomerie birdied the final hole for a 72 but at 5 over he was likely to miss the cut. He faced an anxious wait until Saturday to see whether he had survived or missed the cut, projected to be 4 over, for the seventh time in eight events. (AP)