Jeev makes cut but Shiv, Bhullar miss out

Cork: Jeev Milkha Singh dropped down steeply on the leaderboard with a round of two-over 73, but was still the only Indian of the three to make the cut at the Irish Open, here.

Jeev, three-under for the first round, is now one-under for 36 holes and in tied 43rd place. Jeev had one birdie on 10th, a bogey on 13th and a double bogey on par-3 seventh.

Meanwhile, Shiv Kapur (74-70) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (74-76) missed the cut and exited from the tournament early.

Mikko Ilonen maintained his two-stroke lead on the second day, but the Finn has Graeme McDowell breathing down his neck after the home hero shot a superb round of 66.

McDowell had set the early pace with six birdies to climb to eight under par on another glorious day in Cork, but he was overhauled later in the day by Ilonen, who mixed five birdies with two bogeys in his round of 68.

England?s Robert Rock and Frenchman Romain Wattel made it a three-way tie for second place alongside McDowell after signing for respective rounds of 66 and 65.

Unfortunately for the huge crowds at Fota Island Resort, Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy both missed the halfway cut on one over par; but Padraig Harrington is firmly in contention to win his national Open for a second time after carding a round of 67 for a six under par aggregate total.

Rory McIlroy said, "Obviously I?m very disappointed. It`s a tournament that is very important to me, and I want to do well. To come here two years on the bounce and not even be in for the weekend, that?s not very nice."

"I just need to tighten it all up and become a lot more consistent, and just make the bad shots a little bit better and not be as wasteful around the greens. If I can do that, I know my game is right there. ???I?ve got a couple weeks off now to work on my game a little bit and play some links golf so I can get ready for the Scottish Open and The Open."

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