Friday, February 8, 2008

Golf News: Indian Masters Day 2 Wrap

Northern Ireland's Damien McGrane stroked a majestic 69 to take a two shot lead at the Indian Masters on Friday, as Ernie Els made amends for his disastrous opening round to scrape through the cut.

Another Irishman Graeme McDowell, who finished fifth behind Tiger Woods in Dubai on Sunday, shares second place with South Africa's Hendrik Buhrmann and Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin at six under for the tournament on 138.

But on a cold and grey Delhi day first round leader Jyoti Randhawa lost the plot, firing a five-over-par 77 to be six behind McGrane.

Former Ryder Cup star Thomas Bjorn remains in the hunt at four under while US veteran Mark O'Meara is on the fringes of the leaderboard after a 73 left him six strokes adrift.

World number four Els, who was rattled by a nine on Thursday, looked to be heading for an early plane home after bogeying the first but he rallied with an eagle at the eighth and a birdie on the 14th.

And he fared much better on the par-5 18th that undid him in round one, sinking a birdie for a 70 to leave him nine behind McGrane.

"Just the one hole yesterday and it could have been a little bit different, but it was a tough day for me today. I find it very difficult scoring on this golf course," said Els.

"If I can somehow get to something like six under on Saturday, I might have a chance on Sunday."

McGrane, who is looking for his first European Tour victory, found the conditions were much harder than on the opening day.

"The temperature was really cold out there and it was a lot more difficult than Thursday," said the unassuming 36-year-old.

"So three-under for the day is a good number and I'm happy with that."

He forecast a winning score of around 16-under-par, and said he would stick to the same strategy over the weekend...

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