Harding one off the pace in British Masters

Despite a triple-bogey seven, Justin Harding carded his second successive three-under-par 69 on Thursday to take up position one shot off the halfway lead of the European Tour’s Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett at the Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England.

Harding, starting his round on the 10th, turned in four-under 32 thanks to birdies on the 12th, 13th, 15th and 18th, and he soon picked up another shot on the third after the turn. But it all nearly came unravelled on the sixth as he gave three shots back to the field. He was able to consolidate, and pick up a consolation shot with birdie on the ninth, and stay in contention.

There was a three-way share for the lead at seven-under after the second round, with Scots Calum Hill and Robert Macintyre sharing the top spot with veteran Englishman Richard Bland. With Harding on six-under were England’s Eddie Pepperell and Frenchman Julien Guerrier.

Louis de Jager, who opened with a four-under-par 68, followed up with a level-par 72 to be in a share of eighth. Dean Burmester, who played the first two rounds with Harding, went one-over in the second round and was on two-under for the tournament in a share of 26th.

Justin Walters and Zander Lombard missed the cut, with Haydn Porteous retiring during the second round after carding an opening 73.

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