Friday, September 05, 2008

CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland (AP) — Rory McIlroy shot an even-par 71 Friday to share the lead with defending champion Brett Rumford after the second round of the European Masters, where American teen Tadd Fujikawa missed the cut.

Fujikawa had a poor start for the second straight day with bogeys at his first three holes before recovering to shoot a 72 and finish at 3-over 145, three strokes above the cut.

``Small mistakes cost me the cut. You can't do that on any tour,'' the 17-year-old Fujikawa said. ``I had a lot of chances but I couldn't make anything.''

The 17-year-old has struggled since turning pro last summer. He made history as a 16-year-old at the Sony Open in January 2007, when he became the youngest player in 50 years to make the cut on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy, a 19-year-old Northern Irishman, could not reproduce his opening 63, and Rumford caught him with a second straight 67 to finish the day at 8-under 134.

They were one stroke ahead of Juan Abbate and Jean-Francois Lucquin (both 67), and Alejandro Canizares (68). Peter Lawrie (69) was two strokes behind, with Fredrik Andersson Hed and Simon Dyson (both 67).

Miguel Angel Jimenez (69), the only member of Europe's Ryder Cup team in the field, was a further stroke behind, level with eight others.

The sun returned to Crans-sur-Sierre on Friday after Thursday's intermittent rain.

``It was more like Wednesday's pro-am,'' Rumford said.

Even so, there was still a stiff wind and some tough pin positions.

``Some of the pins were extremely tricky and it was difficult to get to them,'' McIlroy said. ``On those holes you just had to take your par and go to the next. It really tests your patience.

``My iron play was not quite as good yesterday, but I holed a lot of good par putts to keep myself going,'' McIlroy added.

One of them was at the 236-yard, par-3 16th, where he made a 12-footer to save par. He sank a 15-footer at the next and a 10-footer at the last after getting a free drop when his second shot ended up against the base of the grandstand.

Rumford, who is on the U.S. Tour this year, played steady golf on a course he described as being unlike anywhere else.

``This is a very unique place and golf course,'' he said.

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