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British Masters: Danny Willett three behind leader Hurly Long as Lee Westwood, Richard Bland miss cut | Golf News


Danny Willett heads into the weekend on six under and three behind Germany’s Hurly Long; Defending champion Richard Bland and former world No 1 Lee Westwood both suffer early exits – watch the British Masters live on Saturday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 06/05/22 7:30pm

Danny Willett is three off the halfway lead at The Belfry

Danny Willett is three off the halfway lead at The Belfry

Tournament host Danny Willett surged back into contention at the Betfred British Masters after carding the lowest round of the week at The Belfry.

The former Masters champion needed two late birdies to salvage an opening-round 73 on Thursday, leaving him seven off the early lead, only to jump up the leaderboard with a brilliant seven-under 65.

Willett mixed eight birdies with a lone bogey to post the lowest round of the week, lifting the Englishman inside the top five and within three strokes of halfway leader Hurly Long.

Hurly Long is chasing a maiden DP World Tour victory

Hurly Long is chasing a maiden DP World Tour victory

“Just one of those days where hit a lot of really good golf shots and capitalized where we could,” Willett said. “Basically hit all the par-fives basically in two and made three easy birdies there and a couple of bonuses coming down.”

Beginning on the back nine, Willett began his Friday charge by rolling in a 15-footer on his opening hole and posting four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the 12th to reach the turn in 31.

Willett converted from 20 feet at the second and followed a birdie at the fifth by holing a 25-footer at the eighth, with his only bogey coming after a wayward drive at the par-four ninth.

Long holds the halfway lead after five birdies in six holes from the first helped the German a four-under 68, with his only bogey coming on his final hole of the day, while Scotland’s Richie Ramsay is a shot back alongside overnight co-leader Thorbjorn Olesen and 2019 champion Marcus Kinhult.

Ramsay carded a bogey-free 69 and Olesen birdied three of his last five holes to shoot a second-round 70, while Kinhult joined the group on eight under after following a chip-in eagle at the 15th with back-to-back birdies over his next two holes.

Rasmus Hojgaard – who won the ISPS Handa UK Championship at The Belfry in 2020 – is two off the pace, while Willett is in the group on six under that contains compatriot Marcus Armitage and Robert MacIntyre birdied five of his last six holes to sign for a second-round 67 and move to three under.

A birdie-birdie finish from Richard Bland couldn’t prevent him missing the cut by a shot, with Lee Westwood also making an early exit after a final-hole double-bogey dropped him to two over for the tournament.

Who will impress over the weekend at the Betfred British Masters? Watch the third round live on Saturday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf.