Lawrie turns up heat in Spain

PETER LAWRIE signalled he was not about to relinquish his Spanish Open title with a blistering inward half of 30 on day two of the event in Girona.

Lawrie recorded a total of eight birdies in his round to head to today’s third round just three strokes adrift of Frenchman Thomas Levet.

Levet added a five under par 67 to his first round 64 and move to 13-under par in the €2 million event.

Dane Soren Hansen, who finished third in the event last year, added a 70 to his opening score of 63 for an 11-under par tally.

Lawrie had begun his second round bogey, par, birdie and bogey before igniting a blistering inward half of 30 for his 10 under par tally.

And it was a unique set-up tip instilled in him by long-time coach, Brendan McDaid that has Lawrie primed to retain one of Europe’s oldest national Open crowns.

“I struggled big time over the front nine and it was only my chipping and putting which pulled me through,” said Lawrie.

“But then I remembered something that my coach told me. It’s a drill where I have to imagine there is a bottle a couple of inches from the ball on the right hand side. If I miss the bottle then I am managing to keep the clubface square. It’s something I do in practice and something to fall back on.”

Paul McGinley produced his equal lowest score in 18 rounds of his 2009 schedule. McGinley jumped some 40 places in nabbing four birdies in a six-hole stretch from his fifth before signing off for a 67 on seven under.

* Having tumbled from four under to one over in the last two holes on Thursday, things went from bad to worse for Pádraig Harrington in the second round of the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, yesterday.

He included four sixes in a second round of 75 to finish on six over par 148 and way outside the cut.

Harrington next plays the Players Championship at Sawgrass next week before returning home for the 3 Irish Open at Baltray on May 14-17.

* Michael McGeady will carry the Irish hopes on the European Challenge Tour’s Moroccan Classic after surviving the cut in El Jadida.

Donegal’s McGeady carded a second round 74 to just finish inside the cut line on four over par.

England’s Robert Coles is the man to catch after a superb five under par 67 moved three shots clear of Australian Matthew Zions on eight under.

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