Niall Kearney takes two-shot lead at halfway point of BMW International Open

Ireland’s Niall Kearney defied his lowly world ranking of 599 to open a two-shot lead at the midway phase of the BMW International Open.

Kearney played the last 2 holes of his weather-delayed preliminary in one under par on Friday early morning to finish a perfect 65, prior to including a 2nd round of 68 to reach 11 under par.

Viktor Hovland, Bernd Wiesberger, Masahiro Kawamura, Adrien Saddier and Jorge Campill share 2nd put on 9 under, with United States Open runner-up Louis Oosthuizen and two-time significant winner Martin Kaymer part of a group 2 shots even more back.

Viktor Hovland

Norway’s Viktor Hovland remained in contention midway through the BMW International Open (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Kearney taped his finest European Trip surface with a share of 4th in the Canary Islands Champion in Might thanks to a closing 61, however had actually missed out on the cut in his last 3 starts.

“I just feel really fresh,” the 33-year-old informed Sky Sports.

“I have been home the last couple of weeks and I’ve had plenty of time to rest. I had been travelling prior to that quite a bit and it was great just to get home and recharge and then get back out.

“The course is fantastic and it suits my eye. It’s old-fashioned with avenues and it’s quite tight off the tee and I am really enjoying it.”

Kearney’s only bogey of the week up until now began the 17th in round 2, however he followed that with a fantastic method to the 18th from 260 backyards that was fired directly at a pin simply a couple of backyards over the water.

“Yes, it was a push,” Kearney confessed with a smile. “I was aiming at the left half of the green knowing that it was going to be a really difficult putt and I just got under it a little bit and it finished up great, but it wasn’t my intended line.”

Wiesberger played along with Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington for the very first 2 days as he aims to protect a put on the European side which will protect the prize at Whistling Straits in September.

“He’s very competitive and tries his hardest out there, even though he wasn’t quite on it this week,” Wiesberger stated after a 68. “But you can see, all of a sudden he makes a couple of eagles and you see it in his eyes. He was very focused on what he was doing.

“Hopefully the odd shot I hit over the last two days maybe stayed in the back of his mind – not so much the last three wood into the par five.

“At the end of the day we’re still trying to compete out here, he has his stuff figured out off the golf course and results will hopefully determine who will be on his team.”

Hovland withdrew midway through the 2nd round of the United States Open with an eye injury, however revealed no ill impacts as he included a 67 to his opening 68 as he aims to strengthen his put on the Ryder Cup group.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.