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McGrane takes India Masters lead
Northern Ireland golfer takes a two-shot lead into the weekend at Delhi Golf Club.
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2008 13:16 GMT

Damien McGrane's rounds of 67 and 69 gave him a two-shot lead going into round three in Delhi [AFP]

Northern Ireland's Damien McGrane hit a three-under par 69 to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the inaugural European Tour Indian Masters in New Delhi.
On a cold and grey Delhi day Jyoti Randhawa, local favourite and first round leader, lost his way, firing a five-over-par 77 to be six behind McGrane while Ernie Els made amends for his disastrous opening round to scrape through the cut.
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.

Thomas Bjorn, former Ryder Cup star, 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.

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

Ernie Els

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 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.

"I will try to do the same thing day-in-day-out. I have found a formula around the course that seems to be giving me good numbers, so I'll try to hit the same clubs and give myself as many birdie opportunities as possible."

Els makes the cut

World number four Els, who was rattled by a nine on the par-5 18th in the first round, looked to be heading for an early flight home after bogeying the first, but he rallied with an eagle at the eighth, a birdie on the 14th, and another birdie on the 18th 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."

With Randhawa slumping, the best placed Indians going into the weekend are Arjun Atwal and Digvijay Singh at four under par.

Another local hero Shiv Kapur, who was second after the first round, crashed to a 78 for a 146 total.

Randhawa, who has won five tournaments at Delhi Golf Club, said he is still in the hunt despite a disappointing day.

"I did not feel good about my game today," he said.

"After a poor start I lost focus but two under after two days on this course is still good."

Source:
Agencies
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