Caldwell pulls out the stops to make the cut in Mallorca

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Jonathan Caldwell (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

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Jonathan Caldwell put together a much-needed round of 67 to make the cut at the Mallorca Golf Open meaning he is the lone Irishman heading into the weekend.

The Clandeboye native recovered from a two-over 73 to go six better on Friday to move to two-under-par.

Caldwell carded a bogey on his opening hole but was flawless after that, carding birdies on the 4th and 5th to make the turn in 34.

The 38-year-old continued his momentum with birdies on eleven and twelve, but a birdie on 17 proved to be his insurance as he survived into the weekend as Niall Kearney missed the cut while Cormac Sharvin withdrew, dealing a blow to their respective DP World Tour card hopes.

Dale Whitnell will take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the halfway stage with World Number 25 Ryan Fox in close pursuit while three-time DP World Tour winner Rasmus Højgaard is also in the mix heading into the weekend at Son Muntaner Golf Club.

Englishman Whitnell was the star of Day Two on the Balaeric Island, firing a bogey-free eight under par 63 to move to an 11 under total and edge one stroke ahead of the rest.

“I played solid today, pretty stress free, I think I effectively missed one green, and I also missed only one green yesterday too. I didn’t make as many putts yesterday as I did today, so it was nice.

“Me and (caddie) Gordy have known each other since I was about 15 I guess, we’ve always got on well, it’s just taken some time for me to get here and to be in a position where I can avail of Gordy’s services.

“It’s a bit softer today, the wind wasn’t as strong this morning as it was yesterday afternoon so you could be a bit more aggressive, and I think I just got a few more putts to the hole and a few dropped.

“I was in a position where I could lose my card a month ago, then I had a 12th in Italy, a 25th in France and a tenth in the Dunhill which secured my place for next year and now I’ve got bigger goals and aspirations for the last two events so hopefully this is just the start.”

Fox, who sits third in the DP World Tour Rankings and could move to second this week with a strong finish, leads the chasing pack on ten under par after a second round 64. The Kiwi holed out with his approach at the par four third hole to add to five birdies, and the 35-year-old has not dropped a shot since his first hole of the week on day one.

“Felt pretty good yesterday actually. I left a lot of chances out there yesterday – three under was probably the worst score I could have had.

“I carried that on to today and holed a few more putts. To be honest I felt like I left a few out there on the greens as well, even though I holed a couple I felt like I had a lot of chances. And certainly nice to do that around here because it can come and bite you pretty quickly as well.

“There’s a lot of wedges if you drive it in play. So I think hitting it straight is important and obviously the par fives, especially for me, if I get it in play on the par fives I feel like there’s some birdie chances there.

“And I did that pretty well for the most part today. I still can’t figure out how to play that sixth tee-shot properly. But I made a couple of birdies on the par fives on the back and that got the score going nicely.

“I had a great number on the third, I had 100 metres on the nose, a little bit downwind. The ball’s going a long way this week so it was just a full lob wedge and obviously it looked pretty good.

“I didn’t see it go in, it was sort of hidden by that bunker, but knew it was going to be pretty good in the air and it got a nice little cheer behind the green, which was nice. It was a nice little bonus on the scorecard there. I think it’s the second shot I’ve holed this year so it was nice to get one.”

Højgaard, who is seeking to make it three successive winning seasons on the DP World Tour having failed so far this season to add to his three victories, was joined in tied third by Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer and Hugo Leon of Chile, all on eight under par.

Again today there was a lot of good but so many mistakes. I managed to save a couple of them with the putter but the front nine was pretty good and from there on I just didn’t play as good as I wanted to.

“I feel good, I just need to manage the mistakes I make out there and I should be good. Of course I’m very hungry for getting for that fourth win, but I odn’t need to win. I’m trying to put myself in a position where I can fight for the title and then do my best when I’m in that position.

“If that helps me to win the tournament here this week then awesome, but it’s not going to be the end of the world if I don’t win.”

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