Stenson still hoping he’s in Harrington’s hat when he picks Ryder Cup wild cards

Swedish star two shots off compatriot Sebastian Soederberg in Prague

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson  acknowledges the fans following his second round  at the  Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort in Prague. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Getty Images

Sweden’s Henrik Stenson acknowledges the fans following his second round at the Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort in Prague. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Getty Images

 

Henrik Stenson admitted he was pleasantly surprised to remain in contention for a first win in a full-field event for four years in the D+D Real Czech Masters.

Stenson is yet to drop a shot at Albatross Golf Resort after adding a 69 to his opening 67 for a halfway total of eight under par, two shots behind compatriot Sebastian Soderberg.

The former British Open champion won the 18-man Hero World Challenge in December 2019 but has not won a regular event since the 2017 Wyndham Championship and had missed 11 cuts in 16 events in 2021 to fall outside the world’s top 200.

“I think that speaks volumes of my putting, course management and some tidy shots around the greens when I have been missing,” Stenson said of his 69.

“I definitely give my putting the biggest credit these first two days as to why we’re bogey-free and in a good position. There’s more to ask with the long game, I want a bit more than I have produced these two days, but we’re in good shape and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

Stenson is a long way outside the automatic qualifying places for next month’s Ryder Cup but has not given up hope of impressing European captain Pádraig Harrington – his playing partner over the first two days – enough to earn a wild card for Whistling Straits.

“I’ve got four tournaments to build some momentum to be in the hat that Pádraig is going to pick three names out of,” added Stenson, who won all three matches as a wild card in Paris in 2018.

“I expected to give it my best and scoring-wise it’s probably better than I was hoping for coming in from three weeks off.

“I’ve done some practice but haven’t been playing a lot of golf on the course as of late, so it’s nice to be out there and keep the scores going in these first two rounds.”

Pádraig Harrington lines up a putt on the ninth hole during the second round of the Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort in Prague. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Getty Images
Pádraig Harrington lines up a putt on the ninth hole during the second round of the Czech Masters at Albatross Golf Resort in Prague. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Getty Images

Harrington carded a one-under 71 to move to three under after his second round and book his place in the weekend action.

A level-par round of 72 was enough for Gavin Moynihan to make the cut as he remained on one under. He had made it as low as four under after opening with two birdies and adding a third on the 10th hole but carded three bogeys in his final seven holes.

Two birdies late on in his round saw Niall Kearney make the cut on the mark as he carded a four-under 68 to get back to level par, while France-based Irishman Michael Young missed the cut after a 75 left him on seven over.

Soderberg came into the week on the back of four straight missed cuts but fired an eagle, seven birdies and a solitary bogey in a second round of 64 to open up a one-shot lead over Sean Crocker and Adrian Meronk.

“It’s been a tough year so far,” Soderberg said. “I decided to take a longer break this summer and it’s my first event in five or six weeks.

“It’s going to be a bit rusty, but I’ll try and play one hole at a time. I’m sure there’s going to be some pressure, hopefully it’s not too bad and I can manage it and keep playing well.”

Meanwhile, Shane Lowry fired a four-under 67 in the second round of the Northern Trust playoff event in New Jersey to move four under for the tournament.

The Offaly man went out in four-under 32 at Liberty National Golf Club and came home in level par with a birdie and a bogey.

Spain’s Jon Rahm is the early clubhouse leader after a four-under 67 moved him to 12 under, one clear of Americn Tony Finau, who shot a 64.

Séamus Power and Rory McIlroy are among the later starters.

Leaderboard

British and Irish unless stated, par 72
134
Sebastian Soederberg (Swe) 70 64

135 Sean Crocker (USA) 68 67, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 68 67

136 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 67 69

137 Dean Burmester (Rsa) 68 69, Soeren Kjeldsen (Den) 70 67, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 68 69, Maverick Antcliff (Aus) 67 70, Johannes Veerman (USA) 71 66, Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa) 69 68

138 Paul Peterson (USA) 68 70

139 Tae-Hee Lee (Kor) 70 69, Max Schmitt (Ger) 72 67, Nicolai Hoejgaard (Den) 68 71, Marcel Siem (Ger) 71 68, Philip Eriksson (Swe) 70 69

140 Richard Mansell 70 70, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 74 66, Callum Shinkwin 71 69, Ross McGowan 70 70, Sam Horsfield 68 72, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 70 70, Emilio Cuartero (Esp) 72 68, Steven Tiley 70 70, Damien Perrier (Fra) 72 68, Daniel Young 70 70, Janne Kaske (Fin) 69 71, Shiv Kapur (Ind) 70 70

141 Brandon Stone (Rsa) 72 69, Pádraig Harrington 70 71, Aaron Cockerill (Can) 69 72, J. C. Ritchie (Rsa) 70 71, Pep Angles (Esp) 70 71

142 Joost Luiten (Ned) 71 71, Daniel van Tonder (Rsa) 69 73, Renato Paratore (Ita) 74 68, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 70 72, Ales Korinek (Cze) 74 68, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 71 71, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 71 71, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 71 71, Oliver Fisher 70 72, Robin Roussel (Fra) 71 71, Niklas Lemke (Swe) 70 72, Lars van Meijel (Ned) 72 70, Jake McLeod (Aus) 73 69, Lee Slattery 71 71, Nicolai von Dellingshausen (Ger) 71 71, Matthew Baldwin 73 69

143 Matthiam Keyser (Rsa) 75 68, Filip Mruzek (Cze) 72 71, David Coupland 74 69, Si-Hwan Kim (USA) 71 72, Yi-Keun Chang (Kor) 72 71, Gavin Moynihan 71 72, Marcel Schneider (Ger) 69 74, Ondrej Lieser (Cze) 68 75, Jordan Wrisdale 70 73, Deyen Lawson (Aus) 71 72, Berry Henson (USA) 72 71, Gary Stal (Fra) 70 73, Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 71 72

144 Matyas Zapletal (Cze) 72 72, Adria Arnaus (Esp) 74 70, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 73 71, Benjamin Poke (Den) 73 71, Clement Sordet (Fra) 72 72, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 74 70, Bernd Ritthammer (Ger) 74 70, Josh Geary (Nzl) 73 71, Liam Johnston 73 71, David Dixon 75 69, Niall Kearney 76 68

Missed cut

145 Danny Willett 68 77, Adrien Pendaries (Fra) 71 74, Sebastian Heisele (Ger) 69 76, Shiv Chawrasia (Ind) 70 75, Louis de Jager (Rsa) 72 73, Aaron Zemmer (Ita) 72 73, Chase Hanna (USA) 74 71

146 Sami Valimaki (Fin) 72 74, George Coetzee (Rsa) 77 69, Rikard Karlberg (Swe) 74 72, Garrick Porteous 74 72, Hugo Leon (Chi) 72 74, Ben Evans 72 74

147 Liam Robinson 76 71, Bryden MacPherson (Aus) 72 75, Tadeas Tetak (Svk) 73 74, Jiri Zuska (Cze) 74 73, Gordan Brixi (Cze) 75 72, Ajeetesh Sandhu (Ind) 74 73

148 Vincent Norrman (Swe) 71 77, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 74 74, Toby Tree 75 73, Rhys Enoch 75 73, Eduardo de la Riva (Esp) 75 73, Romain Wattel (Fra) 73 75

149 Michael Feuerstein (USA) 74 75, Jan Cafourek (Cze) 73 76, Michal Pospisil (Cze) 71 78, David Howell 72 77, Carlos Pigem (Esp) 77 72, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 77 72, Tom Gandy (IoM) 72 77

150 Gary King 79 71, Matej Baca (Cze) 74 76, Lukas Tintera (Cze) 75 75, Stanislav Matus (Cze) 76 74

151 Simon Zach (Cze) 75 76, Gavin Green (Mal) 74 77, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 72 79, Michael Young 76 75

152 Joshua Grenville-Wood 76 76, Maximilian Jelinek (Cze) 77 75, Sebastian Garcia (Esp) 79 73, Jesper Sandborg (Swe) 74 78

153 Krystof Strycek (Cze) 80 73, Suradit Yongcharoenchai (Tha) 76 77

155 Tyler Koivisto (USA) 77 78, Stepan Danek (Cze) 76 79

156 Jakub Bares (Cze) 74 82

161 Pavol Mach (Svk) 78 83

171 Sebastian Vida (Svk) 89 82

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