Shane Lowry and Michael Hoey three off lead in Germany

Hoey recovers from triple-bogey seven at opening hole in Cologne

Michael Hoey’s round contained nine birdies. Photograph: Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Michael Hoey’s round contained nine birdies. Photograph: Paul Thomas/Getty Images

 

Shane Lowry carded two birdies in his final three holes to card a four-under 68 on another day of low scoring at the BMW International Open in Cologne.

Lowry also secured three birdies on the front nine, with just a single bogey on the 10th as he moved to nine under, three shots off the lead at the half-way stage.

Michael Hoey also finished the second round on nine under, but was left to rue a horrible treble bogey on the first hole. In what can only be described as a roller-coaster 18 holes, Hoey also accumulated nine birdies and three bogeys and the aforementioned calamity.

England’s Danny Willett was able to laugh off a stiff neck and shoulder and an amateur-like shank at his last hole as he maintained his share of the lead in Cologne on 12 under..

The 26-year-old saw his 155-yard approach to the ninth – the last of his second round – veer wildly off to the right, narrowly clearing the water guarding the adjacent 18th green and coming up just short of the putting surface.

From there the 2012 champion saved par to keep a bogey off his card as he finished with a 68, a score matched by playing partner and co-leader Rafa Cabrera-Bello.

They were later joined by another Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and Argentinian Emiliano Grillo.

“Twelve under was a great score for two days and the shoulder was good early on,” said Willett, who missed Wednesday’s pro-am because of his neck problem.

“I completely forgot to take any pills after nine holes and I could feel it in the last few holes.

“The only thing you can do is laugh as it (the shank) is not something that happens very often.”

Cabrera-Bello’s round was not without incident either as he called a penalty on himself for a double-hit at the par-five seventh after clipping the ball twice hitting out of the greenside rough, resulting in his only bogey of the day.

Larrazabal, winner in 2011, shot a best of the day 63 which was matched by England’s Paul Waring who narrowly missed a birdie putt at the last to close on nine under.

Argentinian Grillo was five under through 11 holes but finished with a 66, although that was still good enough for a share of top spot.

The 21-year-old admits his performances over the last two days have helped put a smile back on his face.

“It’s been a rough couple of months personally and on the golf course so I’m happy with the week so far,” he said.

“My dad passed away in December so it has been a long six months dealing with everything you have to deal with back home.

“I’ve learned a lot of things about life with that and I think I am growing up fast.”

Denmark’s Andreas Harto, who in 14 events this season has yet to win a single euro in prize money, made his first cut of the year after a round of 66 moved him to within two of the leaders to guarantee him a payday of at least €3,649 – although if he maintains his position in the top 10 he will receive more than 10 times that amount.

Harto was in the pack at 10 under alongside South African Branden Grace, Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, German Alex Cejka, Sweden’s Robert Karlsson and Scot Craig Lee.

US Open champion and home favourite Martin Kaymer, on his first appearance since winning his second Major at Pinehurst earlier this month, missed the cut after a 73 left him one over.

Damien McGrane s just made the cut by one shot, a bogey at the last in a one-under 71 leaving him with an anxious wait, but Gareth Maybin, Kevin Phelan, Paul McGinley, Peter Lawrie and Simon Thornton all missed out.

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