Date: July 05, 2008

Garcia makes his move

Spaniard Sergio Garcia has carded a second round of 64 to move within four shots of the lead at the midway point of the European Open. On a day that saw Garcia make his charge up the leaderboard, it was a disappointing day for the Australians, with Richard Green the sole Aussie to make it through to the weekend&aposs action. But it was Garcia&aposs stunning round of 64 that caught everyone&aposs eyes. Garcia goes into the weekend in third place four behind England&aposs Ross Fisher, who added a 68 to his course record 63 and leads by one from Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell. McDowell, two behind overnight, moved ahead with a morning 67, then Fisher, having played the Kent lay-out &aposblind&apos on Thursday, had four more birdies in his first 10 holes, bogeyed the 14th and 16th, but then closed with another birdie. Garcia, who paired with McDowell had a better-ball 60, finished eagle-birdie and afterwards spoke about his growing friendship with tennis star Rafael Nadal. This is Garcia&aposs last outing before The Open. He opted for the European Open rather than next week&aposs Scottish Open because there is more of a links feel to the course. “I&aposm trying to make sure that I get myself comfortable and some of the shots I&aposve been hitting this week I&aposm going to be using at The Open,” he stated. “You don&apost want to find your swing going into a major. I&aposll just get some good practice at home and just try to get myself as ready as possible.” Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter, having matched each other with opening 70s, both improved three shots on that to be seven under, the same as Paul McGinley, for whom a top five finish on Sunday could secure him an Open spot. For Darren Clarke that objective has gone. He missed the cut for a second week running, then was disqualified for signing for a par four on the last when he actually bogeyed it. His only way to Birkdale now is to be in the top five at the Scottish Open. Open champion Padraig Harrington had a 70, but at two-under like Justin Rose and Green appears out of the running. Green shot an excellent round of 69 to make the halfway cut, but fellow Australians Marcus Fraser, Matthew Millar, Peter Senior, Scott Strange, Peter Fowler and Peter O&aposMalley weren&apost so lucky. Second Round of the European Open (Par 72): -13: Ross Fisher 63 68 -12: Graeme McDowell 65 67 -9: Sergio Garcia 71 64 -8: Soren Hansen 69 67 -7: David Frost 65 72, Michael Jonzon 69 68, Paul McGinley 69 68, Colin Montgomerie 70 67, Ian Poulter 70 67 -6: Stephen Gallacher 70 68, James Kingston 69 69, Rory McIlroy 67 71 -5: Rafa Echenique 70 69, Peter Hanson 68 71, Robert Rock 68 71, Martin Wiegele 71 68 Also: -2: Richard Green (Australia) 73 69 -1: Mark Brown (New Zealand) 75 68 +1: Marcus Fraser (Australia) 73 72 +3: Matthew Millar (Australia) 73 74 +4: Peter Senior (Australia) 75 73, Scott Strange (Australia) 74 74 +5: Gareth Paddison (New Zealand) 73 76 +6: Peter Fowler (Australia) 76 74, Peter O Malley (Australia) 75 75 +9: Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 77 76