British Masters: Renato Paratore leads as Lee Westwood just makes cut
Watch the third round live on Friday from 1.30pm on Sky Sports Golf
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 24/07/20 8:59pm
Renato Paratore holds a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Betfred British Masters, as tournament-host Lee Westwood battled to make the cut.
Italian Paratore continued his bogey-free start to the week with a five-under 66 at Close House, taking him to 11 under and a shot clear of Dale Whitnell and Justin Walters.
Englishman Whitnell eagled his penultimate hole to post a second-round 65 and get to 10 under, with South African Harding moving alongside him late in the afternoon after closing a round-of-the-day 63.
Overnight-leader David Law is two strokes back in a share of fourth that includes fellow Scot Calum Hill, England's Ashley Chesters and Denmark's Rasmus Hojgaard, while Westwood snuck into the final two days on the cut mark following a level-par 71.
"It felt really good today," said Paratore. "I played really solid, especially the short game. I saved some shots when I needed it, so I'm very happy with my game."
Paratore followed an opening-hole birdie by picking up shots at the seventh and 10th, both par-fives, before making a birdie-two at the 14th and adding a tap-in birdie at the 17th to set the clubhouse target.
Harding threatened the outright lead after birdieing four of his first five holes and adding others at the seventh and ninth to turn in 29, before ending a run of pars with back-to-back gains from the 16th.
Whitnell had the chance to join Paratore but left his birdie attempt at the last short of the target, with the top 25 players heading into the third round within five strokes of the lead.
Eddie Pepperell is in the group on six under and tied for 13th after a second-round 69, with former world No 1 Westwood 10 shots back on one under after battling back from dropping three shots over his first three holes.
Former US Open champion Michael Campbell missed the cut despite rolling back the years with an opening-round 68, as the 51-year-old struggled to a nine-over 80 on Friday morning.
Watch the British Masters throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 1.30pm on Sky Sports Golf.