Bezuidenhout in the Irish Open hunt despite late bogey

His first bogey in two rounds came on the last hole of the day for Christiaan Bezuidenhout on Friday, but he is still very much in contention at the halfway mark of the European Tour’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open after a second-round four-under-par 68.

He progressed to nine-under for the tournament, leaving him four shots off the lead held by Lucas Herbert of Australia. Herbert held a two-shot edge over Grant Forrest of Scotland and England’s Andy Sullivan.

Bezuidenhout started his round on the 10th, and it was a quiet start with pars all the way until the 17th where he picked up his first shot on the second par-five of the day. It was after the turn that he turned things on, making a birdie on the first. He made three birdies in a row from the third to the fifth – narrowly missing out on an eagle on the fifth – before frustratingly dropping a shot on his last.

Again, it was his immaculate iron-play which kept him in contention as the action points towards the year’s final major championship, the Open at Royal St George’s in two weeks. He hit 72.2 percent of the greens in regulation, and, with some more luck in the putting department, could have been a few shots better off.

Behind him, Justin Harding carded a two-under 70 to move to five-under for the tournament in a share of 34th together with Rory McIlroy and Open champion Shane Lowry. Justin Walters and Zander Lombard were on four-under in a share of 44th after rounds of 71, while Darren Fichardt carded a second-round 68 to make the cut on the number.

Missing the cut were Dean Burmester, George Coetzee, Daniel van Tonder, Shaun Norris, Thomas Aiken, Brandon Stone, Hydn Porteous and Wilco Nienaber.

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