Siem takes advantage of Westwood's wobble in Paris
EUROPEAN TOUR:German Marcel Siem took over at the top at the Alstom French Open in Paris yesterday – and had his title hopes boosted by a dramatic collapse from world number three Lee Westwood.
When Westwood chipped in at the 10th hole just after an 80-minute thunderstorm delay, he was in a tie for third place. But he took penalty drops on three of the next five holes – once from heavy rough and twice from water – in dropping five shots.
Westwood did come back with a birdie on the short 16th, but a two-over-par 73 left him seven adrift of Siem, who leads by one from Swede Alex Noren at the halfway stage.
Winner of the World Cup with Bernhard Langer in 2006, Siem has had only one European Tour victory in approaching 300 starts. But only a fortnight after coming close on home soil at the BMW International Open, back-to-back 68s put the 31-year-old on six under and in the driving seat heading into the weekend.
Shane Lowry is the best of the Irish on two under after a second 70 that saw him birdie the 16th and the 18th. He lies a shot ahead of Graeme McDowell, who had four birdies in his opening eight holes on the way to a 69.
Peter Lawrie made the cut right on the mark of three over after a 72, but Darren Clarke (76) and Michael Hoey (70) were left a shot outside, while Damien McGrane could only manage a 79 to finish on 12 over.
US TOUR:Americans Jonathan Byrd and Charlie Beljan held a share of the early lead of the second round of the Greenbrier Classic at White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia.
Byrd sank an eight-foot birdie putt on his final hole, the par-three 18th, for a two-under-par 68 to join PGA Tour rookie Beljan (62) atop the leaderboard at eight-under 132.
However, four-times major winner Phil Mickelson was a frustrated figure after carding a second successive 71 on the Old White TPC Course to post a two-over total, three strokes outside the projected cutline.
WOMEN’S US OPEN: British amateur champion Stephanie Meadow ran up a triple-bogey eight at the par-five 16th on her way to a second round of 84 at the US Women’s Open in Kohler, Wisconsin. The Royal Portush golfer finished the tournament on 17 over after an opening 77.
Norway’s Suzann Pettersen was the early clubhouse leader on five under after a 68, with Michelle Wie (66) and Cristie Kerr (71) one shot behind.
SENIOR MEN:Garth McGimpsey retained his Irish Seniors Amateur Close title at Clandeboye yesterday, posting a four-over-par 75 to finish the curtailed event on three over.
Portmarnock’s Adrian Morrow came second after matching McGimpsey’s 75.
The recently-crowned Irish Seniors Open and European champion was level with two to play, but a three-putt bogey to McGimpsey’s birdie three proved decisive.