(Reuters) - Tyrrell Hatton backed up his opening round of 63 with a second round five-under-par 65 to hold a three-shot lead in the British Masters, where Sergio Garcia missed the cut on Friday.
The British world number 29 coped admirably with the wet conditions in Newcastle in the north east of England, carding six birdies to sit 12 under at the halfway stage.
“I’m really happy with the first two days and hopefully I can continue that and take that into the weekend,” said Hatton.
“I’d like to play as well as I can and climb up the world rankings and secure (a place) in all four majors again next year.”
The leaderboard is dominated by Englishmen, with Ashley Chesters, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Chris Hanson joined by Sweden’s Robert Karlsson in second on nine under.
Graeme Storm is a shot further back on eight under, with Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell recovering from four-putting the 18th on Thursday to lie six under after a 68.
Rory McIlroy’s second round did not get off to the best of starts. The world number six carded two bogeys in his opening five holes, but three birdies followed, ensuring he made the cut, trailing Hatton by eight shots.
One major winner who failed to make the cut was Masters champion Garcia. The Spanish world number 10 could only muster one birdie all round as his tournament came to a premature end.
Reporting by Pete Hall; Editing by Toby Davis