Morrison moves one clear in Paris
England’s James Morrison has taken a one-shot lead over joint first-round leader Richard Green at the Open De France.
England’s James Morrison has taken a one-shot lead over joint first-round leader Richard Green at the Alstom Open De France in Paris.
The 26-year-old shot a second-consecutive 66 at Le Golf National on Friday to lead at the halfway mark, despite nearlypulling out of this event two days ago due to illness.
Morrison suffers from Crohn’s Disease, an intenstinal inflammation, which flared up again earlier in the week. He’s dealt with the condition for over 10 years.
“I almost drove home Wednesday morning, but I’ve had some steroids and it’s calming me down,” Morrison said.
“It’s something I’ve been used to dealing with on a daily basis. I’m feeling a little bit drained, but I play better with that because I don’t have expectations.
“I feel a bit worse for wear and just stroll through the day.”
Morrison lies on ten under par, one clear of Australian Richard Green, who followed up his opening 65 with a solid three-under-par 68.
Another Englishman, Mark Foster, lies alone in third, three behind Green, while a trio of players are tied for fourth a further shot back – Scotland’s Richie Ramsay, Dane Thorbjorn Olesen and England’s Matthew Nixon.
As a young man, Morrison was forced to make a choice between golf and cricket, having played in England’s Youths cricket team alongside the likes of Alistair Cook and Tim Bresnan.
It’s a move that has already paid off, as he already won in his rookie year last season, and has earned over £500,000 to date.
This week’s first prize of £442,000 would nearly double that amount, while also securing him a coveted place in the Open field.
Coming into this event, however, he had missed his last four cuts, so his performance this week signals a welcome return of form.
Morrison took over the lead fairly early in the day, as he completed the front nine in five-under 31.
Green then started his round and briefly took over the lead on 11 under, before the Australian double-bogeyed the seventh and fell back down.
Green will be happy to only be one shot off the pace, however – particularly considering how his co-leader from round one fared.
Graeme Storm could only manage a second-round 65, thanks in no small part to a quadruple-bogey on the 18th, where he hit two balls into the lake short of the green. He currently lies eight shots back.
Some notables missed the cut, including defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez from Spain, world number 12 Bubba Watson (who lashed out at the camera-happy crowd after his round), Darren Clarke and last week’s winner Pablo Larrazabal.
Germany’s Martin Kaymer shot a 69 to lie on two under, eight shots off the pace, though he will be around for the weekend.
Colin Montgomerie also made the cut at one under, but the top-five finish that would gift him an Open spot seems more and more unlikely.
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