McGrane takes joint lead
A late birdie blitz from Damien McGrane moved the Irishman into the joint lead of the Johnnie Walker Classic after round two.
Last Updated: 20/02/09 2:26pm
A late birdie blitz from Damien McGrane allowed the Irishman to vault to the top of the leaderboard alongside Anthony Kang after round two of the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth.
McGrane made four birdies in the final seven holes to card a four-under-par 68 that followed up his opening-round 66 at The Vines Resort and Country Club.
The 37-year-old from Meath therefore lies on a 10-under-par total alongside American Kang, who shot a second successive 67 on Friday.
Ignacio Garrido, Hiroyuki Fujita and New Zealand amateur Danny Lee all fired 68s to finish the day tied for third place on nine under.
First-round leader Robert Jan-Derksen was tied for the lead with Kang for much of the afternoon but three consecutive bogeys saw him finish with a level-par 72.
He therefore dropped into a tie for sixth with eight other players on eight under, including world number 11 Anthony Kim (68) and John Bickerton (70).
Starting the day on six under, McGrane improved to eight under before suffering consecutive bogeys on the ninth and 10th holes.
But three straight birdies from the 12th to 14th moved him back into contention and he holed his sixth birdie putt of the day at the final hole to grab a share of top spot.
"I played better off the tee today and hit more fairways, which was helpful," said McGrane, who scored his maiden European Tour win at last year's Volvo China Open.
"I'm putting quite nicely again today. I made some mistakes in the middle of the round but I played solid overall and bounced back well from those mistakes at the ninth and 10th to shoot four under.
"After a bit of a shake in the middle it was nice to bounce back with three birdies in a row and I could have birdied a lot more holes."
Fresh from his victory in last week's Malaysian Open, Kang is a player in form and he began the morning by rolling in a 25-foot birdie putt on his opening hole, the 10th.
Three straight birdies from the 13th to 15th followed and he made another on the 17th to go out in 31.
Kang's momentum might have been halted when he found a fairway bunker on the third, but he instead picked up his sixth birdie after recovering to within two feet of the pin.
The only blemish in the Korean-American's round came with a bogey on the 17th.
Meanwhile, Graeme Storm and David Frost shot the day's best rounds of 64 to join Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter in an 13-way tie on seven under.
Lee Westwood recovered from a quadruple-bogey nine on the third to card a 73 that put him on five under along with Paul Casey, who shot a 68.
But world number nine Camilo Villegas and Greg Norman will not be around for the weekend after failing to make the cut of three under par.
The Colombian shot a 71 to finish on one under while Norman's 72 saw him finish on two over.