Foster and Finch in front
Nicolas Colsaerts had to battle hard to keep his Ryder Cup dream alive and stay in touch of Gleneagles leaders Mark Foster and Richard Finch.
Last Updated: 24/08/12 7:43pm
Nicolas Colsaerts had to dig himself out of trouble to keep his Ryder Cup dream alive and stay in touch of Gleneagles leaders Mark Foster and Richard Finch.
Nicolas Colsaerts really dug deep today to keep his Ryder Cup dream alive - and possibly spare European captain Jose Maria Olazabal a nightmare scenario.
The 29-year-old needs a top-two finish in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles to force his way into the side and spare European captain Jose Maria Olazabal a nightmare scenario.
He goes into the weekend joint seventh and only three shots behind English leaders Foster and Finch.
Colsaerts, winner of the Volvo World Match Play title in May and seventh in America on Monday, has the chance to knock off-form Martin Kaymer out of an automatic spot.
But if he fails to do that Olazabal might have the far more difficult decision of choosing between him and three-major winner Padraig Harrington.
"It was not enjoyable," Colsaerts admitted after a battling two under par 70 lifted him to five under at halfway. "It wasn't a very convincing round until a couple of holes to go."
He fell back into a tie for 28th when he bogeyed the seventh and 13th, but three birdies in the last five boosted not just his hopes, but also his mood.
The finish also allows him to sleep in longer before he tees off again and that could be important after jet-lag appeared to play a part.
"You can feel the freshness is not totally there and it was kind of a grind, but I didn't shoot myself out and the three birdies were very important."
Foster is hoping for a "Super Saturday" three weeks after being there in the Olympic stadium for Britain's greatest night of athletics ever.
The 37-year-old from Worksop, whose only European Tour win came nine years ago, led the event by one with one to play last year, took a bogey six and then lost out in a five-man play-off.
He shot 68, while Finch, best remembered for falling in a river on the final hole as he won the 2008 Irish Open, had a 67.
Lawrie gives chase
They are a stroke ahead of Scotland's Paul Lawrie and Australian Brett Rumford, while among those just one behind Colsaerts is tournament chairman Colin Montgomerie - 510th in the world and at 49 trying to become the oldest winner in European Tour history.
Lawrie and Italian Francesco Molinari are the only two certain members of Olazabal's side in the field and both could yet win. Molinari, whose brother Edoardo lifted the title two years ago and was rewarded with a Ryder Cup wild card, stands four under.
Olazabal himself missed the cut, as did two of his assistants Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley.
Dane Thomas Bjorn is another and he will resume three under and still with an outside chance of a successful defence of the title. If he achieves it he might suddenly come back into the reckoning for a wild card.
Foster did not know what to expect after taking a five-week summer break.
"I got some tickets for Super Saturday off a French website and it was probably the best thing I've ever seen," he said.