Gavin Moynihan will carry Irish hopes into the weekend after he was the only one of Ireland’s trio of travelling stars to make the cut at the Scandinavian Invitation at Hills Golf & Sports Club.
The Mount Juliet pro, who was unlucky not to build on a top-11 placing at the Finnish Challenge when missing out by a single shot last week on the halfway cut in Prague, cruised through to the weekend by adding a three-under par 67 to his opening 69 to move to four-under par.
For the second day running, the Dubliner bogeyed the first and fourth holes but resurrected his round with five birdies elsewhere to jump 17 places up the board to a tie for 18th at minus-four.
Sadly, it’s back to the drawing board for Greystones star, Paul Dunne who looked completely out of synch in a dire trip to Sweden.
Dunne looked to be trending in the right direction after an encouraging top-25 finish last week in Prague but the 26-year old unravelled on his homeward half on day one yesterday, needing 42 shots to get to the clubhouse on his back nine before eventually signing for a 76.
Dunne added a two-over par 72 this morning with his eight-over par tally miles away from the weekend cut mark.
Michael Hoey meanwhile suffered a disastrous Friday, failing to find a birdie in an eight-over par effort for a plus-10 total.
Former champion Matthew Fitzpatrick holds a two shot lead at the halfway stage has home hero Henrik Stenson breathing down his neck after an afternoon of low scoring at Hills Golf & Sports Club.
Englishman Fitzpatrick and Gothenburg native Stenson treated the huge crowds following their group to a golfing masterclass on Friday, making the most of pleasant afternoon conditions to surge to the top section of the leaderboard.
Fitzpatrick, who won this event in 2016, holed a series of huge putts on the back nine as he carded six birdies and a single bogey in his second round 65 to head into the weekend on 11-under par.
“It’s been a great the past two days,” said Fitzpatrick. “Everything going to plan so not sure what else to say.
“This summer has been really big for me in a lot of things. I have struggled the past three or four summers, and not had the results I have wanted or what I was working for, and this year we have been a little bit different. I have worked on my back foot shot and along with a lot of other good practise stuff we have been doing away from the tournaments, so it is paying off so far.
“Everyone knows what’s going on with Frankie (Francesco Molinari) and Dave (Alred), and that is obviously the thing that has kicked it into touch for everyone but my strength and conditioning guy, he had been around football for a while and he was a big part of me starting it in the first place. It is something new this year that I have done and so far, it has been good.”
“Off the course I feel a bit more settled and I have a plan with my team on what I am trying to do and also me personally just trying to work on it. My team telling me to not beat myself up, and that I am too hard on myself – which I probably am – but it’s a case of wanting to just get better, but you can’t let that get in the way of it. It is certainly something I have tried to work on in the past two months, you make a bogey you get on with it and move onto the next one, and as stupid as it sounds just smile a bit more.
“I’ve got targets in my mind of what I want to achieve at certain ages and in my season in general, so I have put myself in a good position here to move that forward and keep doing what I am doing.”
Stenson, meanwhile, reeled off six birdies in a row around the turn before putting the finishing touches to his stunning 62 with a birdie to sit alone in a tie for second place alongside Wu Ashun on nine under, one shot clear of early clubhouse leaders Joakim Lagergren and Jason Scrivener.
The early risers found low scores hard to come by following persistent overnight rain and blustery morning conditions but the weather improved throughout the day and Fitzpatrick, Wu and Stenson were able to take full advantage.
Full Scoring HERE