Garrido leads at Johnnie Walker

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Spaniard Ignacio Garrido mounted a late charge at the Johnnie Walker Championship on Friday to take a one-shot lead.

Spaniard Ignacio Garrido mounted a late charge at the Johnnie Walker Championship on Friday to take a one-shot lead.

Garrido shot a second-round 69 to add to his opening 67, after an opening bogey on the first was quickly offset by two birdies at two and three.

Another birdie followed on the seventh, before his second of the bogey day came on the 10th. Two more birdies on 11 and 17, however, left him three under for his round and eight under for the tournament.

Five players lie only one shot off Garrido’s pace after the second round at Gleneagles – Englishmen Kenneth Ferrie (69) and overnight leader Mark Foster (71), Italian Lorenzo Gagli (68), Irishman Peter Lawrie (69), and Dane Thomas Bjorn (69).

Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and England’s James Morrison are a further shot back on six under.

More than 50 players had to complete their first rounds on Friday morning after heavy fog cut two and a half hours of play out of Thursday’s proceedings, with many second round starters teeing off at the same time.

Bjorn was clearly enjoying being back in Europe, where he finished fourth at the Open a month ago before enduring two tough weeks in America.

“The first 27 holes were really, really good and then I lost my swing a bit,” said Bjorn. “I’m glad there’s a range behind us where I can go and work on it.

“I got a lot of confidence from The Open, but then in American all of a sudden you’ve got to hit the ball up into the air again and it knocked me back.”

Bjorn is being touted by some as a future Ryder Cup captain, but he is still producing good results, and right now playing is his priority.

“I want to play golf at the moment,” said Bjorn. “I think when you get to my age you always hope there’s one more in you.

“I don’t see it as something that you can stand there and say ‘I want to do that’. It’s something that you’re asked to do and, if asked, I think any player would say yes.

“It’s not something I’ve got my sights set on because it’s out of my control.

“I’m a professional golfer – I’m a player. That’s what we are here to do and that’s what I’m doing at the moment.

“I feel good about my game and as long as I enjoy it that’s what I’ll focus on. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines in a buggy.”

Ferrie, whose best performance of the year came in Spain back in March when he came close to recording a first 59 on the European Tour, hasn’t really set the world alight since then and lies 112th on the Race to Dubai money list – close to the 115 mark cut-off point for those who want to keep their Tour cards.

“I’ve been playing pretty well all year, but not making putts,” said Ferrie. “I swapped back to a belly putter a couple of weeks ago and it takes my faults out of it.

“People looking at my results might not think my game’s been there, but it’s been decent. I just need to keep plugging away and hopefully things will keep going my way.”

Gagli, meanwhile, has put together a string of good performances, including three top-10s in recent weeks, and he’s put himself in another good position this week.

Ryder Cup captains Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal, meanwhile, had contrasting fortunes. Montgomerie rallied after a poor start to his second round to shoot 73 and finish on one under, good enough to make the cut, while Olazabal was set to miss out on the weekend’s action after successive 74s.

Olazabal encountered some misfortune on the seventh, where he ran up a double-bogey seven after playing the wrong ball in the rough, not realising that two balls had emerged from the thick grass when he played his first shot.

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