What a crap tournament to be winning. With all the fuss and bother over who's gonna get the last qualifying places and the increasingly spicy wild card shoot out, no one gives a hoot in hell that Gregory Havret is leading the damn thing. Poor Greg, but if everyone in the national media is prepared to overlook how the rest of the field are doing, you can be sure I am too.
I checked the leaderboard at around four o'clock and at that stage it looked like Oliver Wilson was going to be in the twitchy bum position of missing the cut and waiting to see if any of the others could overtake him. Martin Kaymer was looking as though he would just make the cut and have the chance to be the man to nick Wilson's spot. But a reversal of fortunes ensued. Wilson was three over for his round and looking out of it after eight holes. However he kicked into gear ans a birdie on the ninth and the sixteenth and a massively important Eagle on 12 were enough to turn his tournament around and see him make the cut by one shot, on 2 over for the tournament. He now has to make sure he gets up the leaderboard enough to keep his automatic position and stop another blighter grabbing it.
Kaymer on the other hand was looking as though he had recovered from a disastrous double bosgey seven on the par 5 second hole, picking up three shots and on the right side on the cut line. But the demon bogey came on 17 and put him one over the limit and his chances of the Ryder Cup have now gone up in smoke. I guess his time will come.
Ross Fisher is the main concern of Wilson and at one stage he too looked lik missing the cut, three bogeys on his front nine had him on +2 and he looked like he would slip further down, but the got hold of himself to get back to level par for the tournament and stay in the hunt with a birdie on the last. He'll have to get motoring tomorrow though.
Nick Dougherty has left a big ask of himself for the weekend, lying six shots off the lead now but he did manage to pick up one stroke overall today and he's still in with a puncher's chance on -1, in a tie for 23rd.
Justin Rose made sure that he didn't give up his chances in the Fedex cup for nothing and with a decent round of 71 has moved up to 12th on two under par. He made his gains on the back nine, with four birdies taking him into striking distance for the weekend.
Søren Hansen repaid my faith in him again today with another solid 71, where he took bogey- birdie on the first two and the last two holes but he managed to pick up two shots in between and is in a very comfortable 5th place.
That's the automatic qualifying race covered. How are the wild card potentials looking?
Pretty good you'd have to say. Darren Clarke had a bit of a dodgy front nine, over par on three holes, birdying one. Put he picked up two on the way in to be even for the day and in decent nick on -1 under for the tournament.
The man who's been doing all of the talking these past few days, almost suggesting dodgy behind close doors agreements between Poulter and Faldo, must have enjoyed airing his concerns because he had one of his best rounds in competitive play for a long time. Even par at the turn, Monty charged through the back nine, picking up three shots as he went to get to 2 under for the tournament and tied 13th. He's limited what he thought he needed from a win to tenth place (why he thinks that, God alone knows, I'm betting Faldo would be lookng for better) so he's well within reach of his target now. He has been putting in alot of practice at Gleneagles on his weeks off, so he'll be hoping it will show over the weekend.
Another good showing today came from a ghost of Ryder past. David Howell, who was the form European about a year and a half ago, has had a torrid time with injury and has slid from the verge of the top ten to a lowly 20oth in the rankings. But a blistering 67 saw him rise up to joint fifth on the leaderboard today and it's the sort of position a man of his talent deserves. Let's hope he can keep it going.