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McIlroy and Lowry miss Irish Open cut as McDowell plots weekend charge

Finland’s Mikko Ilonen leads Graeme McDowell by two, however, after carding a three under par round of 68 at Fota Island.

Graeme McDowell's putter ran hot at Fota Island.
Graeme McDowell's putter ran hot at Fota Island.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

FOR THE SECOND day running, Mikko Ilonen leads at the close of play at The Irish Open.

The Finnish golfer followed up his opening round of 64 with a -3 score of 68 at Fota Island. He leads a trio of players in second, on -8, including Graeme McDowell (66), Robert Rock (66) and Romain Wattel (65).

Padraig Harrington is tied for eighth after his round of 67 saw him sign off for a 36-hole score of -6. Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin is also on -6 after firing the round of the day. He carded six birdies and did not drop a shot all afternoon.

Irish amateur Gary Hurley’s excellent tournament continues. He lies of -4 and is tied 16th after a superb round of 66. The news is not so positive for Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry as both golfers, who finished on +1, are set to miss the projected cut.

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy checks his ball in the trees on the 4th hole. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

McDowell, who landed six birdies, told reporters, “There’s always a first time for everything. -8 is a nice total and although I don’t expect it to be leading at the end of the day it doesn’t have to. I am just excited to be in contention.”

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Two birdies in a row, on his 12th and 13th holes, set the tone for McDowell as his putter ran hot.
https://vine.co/v/MTnhTm27236

At one stage of the second day, Michael Hoey was one shot off the lead. He then dropped three shots in three holes to fall back but finished on -3, one shot better than Darren Clarke who bounced back with a 68.

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