Omega European Masters 2013: Players Who Will Make a Late Surge for the Title
Following the conclusion of the second round at Crans-sur-Sierre, Thomas Bjorn and Stephen Gallacher lead the way at the top of the leaderboard on 10-under-par.
But this year's Omega European Masters looks set for an exceptionally tight conclusion, with 10 players within two shots of the lead at the halfway point. Casting a glance even further down the standings, there are some players we are banking on making a late surge for the title.
One candidate is the popular figure of Padraig Harrington. The three-time major winner began his week with a solid one-under-par round, but he went on to really impress on the second day. The two-time Open winner carded a six-under-par round of 65 to put himself right in contention for the championship, and this upturn in form bodes well for a successful weekend. He carded eight birdies and two bogeys in a superb round.
And it was not without incident either, as Harrington's second shot went 12 rows back into a grandstand. He thinned it, cleared the green and managed to hit a female spectator in the crowd. He subsequently took a drop and holed his wedge shot from 10 feet.
Despite what sounds like a traumatic incident, Harrington—or the injured lady for that matter—didn’t seem too concerned (from Golf By Tour):
I guess if there was no grandstand I would have been out-of-bounds for sure, so I made the most it. The woman was pleased to get a signed ball and I was pretty delighted to get the drop, and I didn't kill anybody, so that's not so bad.
Harrington looks to be playing himself into some form, maybe even into some luck! If he can replicate his day two play over the course of the weekend, expect him to be right in contention come Sunday evening.
Another player who looks right in contention at this juncture is Paul Casey.
The Englishman won his 12th European tour title in June after a baron run of two-and-a-half years without a title. Form and fitness deserted him, but his game looks be getting back in to better shape. He find himself right in contention at Crans-sur-Sierre having carded two rounds that put him just two shots behind the leaders.
Unlike Harrington, Casey enjoyed a fruitful first day, carding a fantastic opening round of six-under-par 65. His opening front nine included two birdies and an eagle, which were accompanied by three more birdies and a bogey on the back nine.
A solid enough second outing of 69 followed and Casey looks in an excellent position to mount a challenge at the business end of the tournament. His apparent return to form and experience at the back end of these big tournaments should see Casey to a strong finish come the final knockings of this closely fought tournament.
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