Omega European Masters: Matt Fitzpatrick two off halfway lead
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 07/09/18 6:58pm
Matt Fitzpatrick increased his chances of successfully defending his Omega European Masters title after moving within two strokes of the halfway lead in Switzerland.
The Englishman - who missed out being named as one of Thomas Bjorn's Ryder Cup wildcards on Wednesday - recovered from two early bogeys to fire a six-under 64 at Crans-sur-Sierre.
Fitzpatrick sits in a share of second on seven under alongside Lucas Bjerregaard, as Hideto Tanihara followed up his opening-round 65 with a bogey-free 66 to top the leaderboard.
"It was a great day," Fitzpatrick told Sky Sports. "It was a bad start, but one reason why I love this golf course is that you know you can get it back."
Fitzpatrick - who beat Scott Hend in a play-off last year - began the day five off the pace and lost further ground with blemishes at the first and fourth, only to bounce back with three consecutive birdies from the fifth.
A gain at the par-five ninth and a tap-in at the tenth moved Fitzpatrick back up the leaderboard, before he followed further birdies at the 12th and 14th by holing a 15-footer at the last.
Tanihara posted three birdies in a six-hole stretch over his back nine to set the clubhouse target, with Stephen Gallacher close behind him until a final-hole double-bogey saw him drop into the group three back.
Danny Willett is also on six under after matching Gallacher's 66, while overnight leader Max Kieffer lies a further stroke back after a one-over 71.
Made In Denmark champion Matt Wallace is six shots back on three under alongside Ryder Cup vice-captain Lee Westwood, while Thomas Pieters missed the club after snapping his putter on his way to a seven-over 77.
Watch the Omega European Masters throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Saturday from 11.30am on Sky Sports Golf.