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Dublin: 3°C Saturday 6 March 2021
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Morrison finds form as Storm blows over in France

England’s James Morrison leads by a single stroke at the halfway stage of the French Open in Paris.

Image: Bob Edme/AP/Press Association Images

A QUADRUPLE-BOGEY on the par-four 18th hole severely dented Graeme Storm’s hopes of claiming a second French Open title, allowing his fellow countryman James Morrison to nip in and take the lead at the halfway mark in Paris.

Storm, a winner at Le Golf National in 2007, couldn’t have hoped for a better start as he birdied his opening holes at nine and ten to move to eight-under par at the top of the leaderboard.

However, bogeys at 15 and 17, followed by that catastrophic quadruple at 18, saw him drop back to two-under par before the turn, with the Englishman grateful that he managed to close out his round without sustaining further damage.

Storm now lies eight shots off Morrison’s lead after the 26-year-old finished his morning with five birdies on the front nine, carding his second 66 in as many days to assume a one-shot advantage on ten-under par.

A double bogey at seven cost first round co-leader Richard Greene his place at the top of the pile. The Australian, who had five birdies in today’s round, returned to the clubhouse on nine-under.

Another member of the English contingent, Mark Foster, is sitting in third place after a round of 68 bumped him up to six-under par.

Gareth Maybin and Paul McGinley are the best of the Irish on level par, with Michael Hoey a further shot back. These three, along with Paul McGinley (+2), are all expected to make the weekend’s cut while Darren Clarke and Shane Lowry look certain to miss out after finishing the day on four-over and five-over respectively.

Another man who will be heading home early is American Bubba Watson, one of the main draws at this week’s tournament, who finished on a disappointing six-over par.

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Explaining his dismal showing to the Press Association afterwards, the world number 12 appeared to point the finger of blame at the lack of on-course crowd control.

“On every tee it says no phones, no video cameras and on every tee there’s hundreds,” said Watson.

“It’s different – it’s not a normal tournament. There’s cameras, there’s phones, no security. I don’t know which holes to walk through – there’s no ropes.

I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just something I’m not used to and not comfortable with. It’s very strange to me.

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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