European Tour

Gaming guru MacIntyre earns share of lead at British Masters as SA's Harding lurks

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South African golfer Justin Harding (Getty Images)
South African golfer Justin Harding (Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin

Scotland's Robert MacIntyre was ready for another late-night session on the PlayStation after earning a share of the lead after two rounds of the British Masters on Thursday.

MacIntyre birdied the first five holes at The Belfry en route to carding a second round score of 66 with South Africa's Justin Harding tied for second after shooting a 69.

The 24-year-old left-hander is level with fellow Scot Calum Hill and English veteran Richard Bland on seven under par.

Eddie Pepperell, the 2018 British Masters winner, Julien Guerrier and Justin Harding are all on six under.

"I was in free flow," MacIntyre said of his flying start. "For me it felt beautiful. That could have been a crazy score.

"I still missed quite a few chances but that's golf. If I can shoot 66-66 at the weekend playing like that you would take that."

Asked if he had felt the pressure of being the top-ranked player in the field this week, the world number 45 added: "Not at all. After this (interview) I will hit a few balls, might grab room service and then I bring my PlayStation everywhere I go, so I will be on that for a couple of hours with my pals.

"Taking that with me is a huge stress reliever. I feel sorry for the people that are next to me (in the hotel) because it's half eleven at night, no matter the tee time, and I'm roaring with my pals on the headset.

"That just keeps me away from golf as much as I can so that when I come out here and am competing it's 100 percent focus."

Tournament host Danny Willett was four shots off the pace after a disappointing 72, the former Masters champion dropping three shots in his last four holes.

Leading second round scores in the British Masters at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England, on Thursday (GBR and IRL unless stated, par 72):

137 - Robert MacIntyre 71, 66; Calum Hill 67, 70; Richard Bland 68, 69

138 - Justin Harding (RSA) 69, 69; Eddie Pepperell 70, 68; Julien Guerrier (FRA) 72, 66

139 - Matthieu Pavon (FRA) 68, 71

140 - Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 68, 72; Andy Sullivan 69, 71; Guido Migliozzi (ITA) 68, 72; Jordan Smith 71, 69; David Coupland 71, 69; Lee Slattery 72, 68; Louis de Jager (RSA) 68, 72; Richard Mansell 69, 71

141 - Danny Willett 69, 72; Chris Wood 69, 72; Mikko Korhonen (FIN) 70, 71; Matthias Schwab (AUT) 66, 75; Adria Arnaus (ESP) 69, 72; Richie Ramsay 70, 71; James Morrison 68, 73; Paul Dunne 72, 69; Joel Stalter (FRA) 69, 72; Laurie Canter 70, 71

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