Archer takes it 'easy' to raise hopes of breaking victory drought
Phillip Archer and Graeme Storm put themselves in strong positions at the Johnnie Walker Classic here yesterday, finishing the second round within striking distance of co-leaders Shiv Kapur of India and Australia's Unho Park.
Archer was on target all day as he shot the tournament's best round so far with an eight-under-par 64 while Storm blitzed the DLF Golf and Country Club course with a six-under 66 as the English duo moved to eight-under for the tournament, two strokes behind Kapur (65) and Park (66).
Indian ace Jyoti Randhawa (65) and little-known Japanese player Taichiro Kiyota (67) are tied for third place on nine under while Storm and Archer are in a four-way tie for fifth with world No 5 Adam Scott of Australia (68) and Spain's Jose Manuel Lara (67).
Ian Poulter and Colin Montgomerie will not be around for the weekend though. Poulter missed the halfway cut of two-under 142 despite firing a valiant 68 to finish on even par while Montgomerie's 76 left him on six over.
Archer began the day on level par but surged up the leaderboard after an eagle and six birdies. "I don't like to say it was easy but it felt very easy with no stress," said the 35-year-old who is eyeing his first victory on the European Tour after three runner-up finishes last season. "I hit it close a few times and made a few 15-footers. When you hole them and knock your six footers in, it feels easy."
Meanwhile, Storm had seven birdies and a lone bogey. Having made the cut in only one of three events this season, the 29-year-old was pleased with his form in India so far.
"I've played well the last two days. Yesterday, I didn't hole many putts but today, I holed a couple more and just made one mistake, one blemish on my card in two days," said the 2007 French Open winner.
The joint-leader Park, who had seven birdies and a lone bogey, attributed his success so far this week to Vijay Singh. "I was watching Vijay on the backswing [on the driving range] and he keeps his head really still," said the 34-year-old.
"He doesn't sway or slide on the backswing and I tried to do something similar like that as I tend to move a lot on my backswing. And it's working." Park was joined on 10-under in the afternoon by Kapur, who overcame the flu to shoot an eagle and five birdies. "Yesterday, my nose was dripping like a tap every time I would stand over a putt and I would have to concentrate but it seems to be getting better," he said.
"But sometimes it's better when you're sick because you're not thinking so much about technique and external factors."
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