Wade Ormsby will be the only Australian to taste weekend action while Tyrrell Hatton shot a five-under 65 in miserable conditions in his second round to lead by three strokes at the British Masters.
Ormsby followed up his opening-round 67 with an even-par 70 to sit one stroke inside the projected cutline of two-under, nine shots adrift of Hatton. Countrymen Brett Rumford, Jason Scrivener, Sam Brazel, Scott Hend, Marcus Fraser and Nathan Holman weren’t so lucky.
Scrivener had sat alongside Ormsby four off the lead after Thursday’s opening round but carded a five-over 75 to drop out of contention.
Lee Westwood, who is hosting the tournament, and Ian Poulter also shot 65 and were two of four Englishmen in a five-way tie for second behind their compatriot Hatton.
Hatton was on 12-under overall, having followed up an opening-round 63 by making six birdies in rainy and cold conditions at Close House in northern England.
“It’s good to be back in form with a big run of events coming up with huge world ranking points,” said the 29th-ranked Hatton, who was tied for third at the European Masters in early September. “I’d like to play as well as I can and climb up the world rankings and secure (a place) in all four majors again next year.”
Westwood added a 65 to his opening 66 and has yet to drop a shot this week, despite coping with the demands of hosting the event – such as hiring an extra field for additional parking as more than 18,000 spectators attended on Thursday.
“It was a bit of a relief to actually be a golfer again,” Westwood said.
World No. 6 Rory McIlroy responded to two bogeys in his first five holes that left him hovering around the projected cut. The four-time major champion did not drop a shot after that, making birdie on holes six, 11 and 17 for a 69, leaving him four-under overall.
Masters champion Sergio Garcia missed the cut after rounds of 70 and 69.