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Fired-up Jamieson battles back to keep the heat on his rivals

 

By Phil Casey

Scott Jamieson recovered from a nightmare start to his second round to claim a share of the halfway lead in the BMW PGA Championship, an event he labelled the "pinnacle" of his season.

Jamieson followed a bogey on the first with a double bogey on the third, but birdied seven of the next nine holes - including four in a row from the ninth - to add a 70 to his opening 67.

That left the 33-year-old from Glasgow on seven under par alongside Belgium's Thomas Pieters and Italy's Francesco Molinari on top of a crowded leaderboard, with Germany's Max Kieffer a shot behind.

Open champion Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Branden Grace and 2015 winner Byeong Hun An were a shot further back on five under, while Masters runner-up Justin Rose eagled the last to make the cut. Shane Lowry is on two under par.

Jamieson narrowly retained his card in each of the last two seasons by finishing 106th and 107th on the Race to Dubai, but can afford to focus on securing a second European Tour title after two top-four finishes in 2017.

"This would be up there with the Scottish Open," Jamieson said.

"I'm not in any of the majors this year so this is as big as it gets. This is the pinnacle of my season.

"It's huge, it's our flagship event. It would start opening up doors that have been closed for a few years. You want to challenge yourself against the world's best and we don't get to do that every week, but we do this week. Hopefully I can take a few of them down.

"I'm delighted, especially with the way it started.

"My ball was plugged in a bunker on the third and I thought it would take a good shot to get it on the green.

"Then I didn't get up and down and at that point I would have bitten someone's hand off for around level par.

• Graeme McDowell is two shots off leader Webb Simpson at the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational after the second round at Colonial Country Club in Texas.

McDowell followed up his opening round of 66 with a level par 70 to sit at four under, with 2012 US Open champion Simpson one clear at the top on six under.

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