For immediate release
Date: Friday August 18, 2023

Tournament: ISPS HANDA World Invitational presented by AVIV Clinics
Race to Dubai: Tournament 34 of 45 events
Venue: Galgorm, Ballymena, Northern Ireland / Castlerock Golf Club, Coleraine, Northern Ireland
Prize Fund: $1,500,000
Hashtag: #WorldInvitational #DPWT
Press Officer: Matthew Joule / +44 (0) 7384 468 217 / mjoule@europeantourgroup.com

Round two report

Dan Brown put on a sublime display of frontrunning to open a six stroke lead at the halfway stage of the ISPS HANDA World Invitational presented by AVIV Clinics.

The Englishman led by two after the opening round and, despite the rest of the field showing the strains of battling the tough weather conditions, there was nothing cryptic about Brown’s game as he posted a four under par 66 at Galgorm to reach 11 under par after 36 holes.

This week’s innovative event is tri-sanctioned by the DP World Tour, LPGA and Ladies European Tour, with men’s and women’s tournaments played on the same courses at the same time for two equal prize funds of US$1.5million.

The 28-year-old Englishman had posted an opening seven under par 64 at Castlerock Golf Club – the co-host venue – and followed it up by mixing three bogeys with seven birdies in the first of his three rounds at Galgorm, with both of the weekend rounds due to take place at the Ballymena layout.

The 2022 DP World Tour Qualifying School graduate started with a birdie at the par five tenth, his first hole, before dropping back-to-back shots at the 13th and 14th. He recovered well, with birdies at the following two holes, before responding to another dropped shot at the 17th with a fourth birdie before making the turn.

His inward nine proved to be much plainer sailing, with birdies at the second, third and fifth ensuring he went into the weekend in pole position with a six-troke buffer from countryman Alex Fitzpatrick and Spain’s Angel Hidalgo, who share second place on five under par.

Fourth place is shared by five players, including English duo John Parry and Eddie Pepperell, Scotland’s Connor Syme, Spaniard Adrian Otaegui and Danish youngster Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen.

The women’s event, being held concurrently with the men’s, is led by Marissa Steen, of the United States. The 33-year-old posted a round of 72 at Castlerock to lead by one from Germany’s Esther Henseleit, with third place being shared by four players including overnight co-leaders Gabriella Cowley, of England, and Switzerland’s Kim Metraux.

Player quotes

Dan Brown: “I’m not too sure, to be honest. I’ve just been taking it one shot at a time, I know it’s cliché, but obviously it’s been so tricky at times, with the wind and rain today as well. I suppose you just work out the shots as best you can and then try and execute it. Thankfully, I have done it a few times over the last couple of days.”

“Probably the up and down on one, that probably kept things just kept things ticking over a bit. I started on ten so birdied 18 and then the wind dropped on our second shot, went long left and we were fishing around for it for a minute or two. So it looks like you might potentially not find it and then when I found it, managed to make a really good up and down. So I’d say that was probably the highlight and then birdied the next year for that, so that was probably quite a big momentum boost.”

“I think the last two events, Denmark and then the Barbasol in America, had two good finishes there and I felt like I’ve done enough to keep my card for next year. It feels as though the shackles are off a little bit. Obviously it’s my first year out here, so I’ve been trying to put that to the back of my mind, and obviously do as well as you can each week, but I feel like I’m just going out and enjoying it a bit more now, a little bit more carefree, I suppose.”

Alex Fitzpatrick: “From the get go you knew it was going to be tough. Looking at the scoring this morning and you know over par was just the norm and so I got here and saw  how windy it was and it was raining at the time. I was thinking how this is going to be a really tough test. And it was. I grinded nicely. I played as good as I can. I saw Dan Brown at four under at the moment, which is mind boggling. I’m not sure how he’s doing that, but I played nicely and I hit a lot of good drives, which was for me a big confidence booster. Hopefully it’s less windy tomorrow and I don’t have to allow for the wind so much.

“I’ve played a fair few main tour events now. You know, I’ve been incredibly lucky that the DP World Tour has given me invites and at the moment I’m trying to make the most of it. Luckily, this wasn’t an invite, but the big thing for me at the moment is just driving the ball well. It’s something that I think for a long time has held me back a little bit. And just as of two weeks ago, it’s kind of progressed quite a lot really in my opinion and being able to hit it 30 yards longer and straighter is obviously always a good thing. I’ve been stuck with tapping it around for the past six years, so it’s nice to actually let go a little bit and have some freedom and produce nice scores.”

Angel Hidalgo: “A great man died last week from TaylorMade, Henry, and I’m wearing this cap because I think I’m playing for him this week. I stamped something in my wedge this week, and I put the orange cap on. We will try to do our best to bring him the trophy this week.”

“Well, both courses are completely different. But, with wind, I think this one is tougher. So today I played so good. Yesterday I played solid, but today I played especially good in the front nine because I think it’s the tougher one. I’m hitting it good. The last three weeks we took off so was important to rest a little at home so we are ready for the weekend.”

Marissa Steen: “I told my caddie before we started just to stay patient today with how windy it was going to be. This course is so exposed being so close to the water, so it was really all I was trying to do was stay patient. That was it. That was really my only thought.

“Galgorm is a lot different challenge than this course with it being parkland, and the wind out there is harder to judge because with more trees, like it just swirls more. Again, it’s just a little harder to tell what it’s doing. Out here where it’s so exposed it was just more trusting that I had the right club and I had accounted for the wind properly.”

Esther Henseleit: “I guess the golf course is very different. Out here it’s much firmer. But it was windy yesterday as well, so you need some low shots and just hit fairways, hit greens, and make your putts. I hit it into like a pot bunker twice today; made bogey both times. So I guess that’s the medicine you have to take on a links golf course. Other than that, I played really solid.

“I’m really confident at the moment on the golf course. I’m rolling some putts in, so that’s nice to see. And, yeah, I feel good. Yesterday was good as well. Just one little bad shot that cost me coming in.”

Scores after round two:

130 D BROWN (ENG) 64 66,

136 A FITZPATRICK (ENG) 66 70, A HIDALGO (ESP) 67 69,

138 R NEERGAARD-PETERSEN (DEN) 69 69, A OTAEGUI (ESP) 70 68, C SYME (SCO) 69 69, J PARRY (ENG) 69 69, E PEPPERELL (ENG) 70 68,

139 M GANDAS (IND) 66 73, R SANTOS (POR) 68 71, R SCIOT-SIEGRIST (FRA) 67 72, P FIGUEIREDO (POR) 70 69, R HOSHINO (JPN) 69 70, R MANSELL (ENG) 73 66,

140 W NIENABER (RSA) 72 68, N LEMKE (SWE) 67 73, T LEWIS (ENG) 73 67, J SENIOR (ENG) 69 71,

141 J MORRISON (ENG) 70 71, G BOYD (ENG) 69 72, M SOUTHGATE (ENG) 68 73, S BAIRSTOW (ENG) 67 74, D FICHARDT (RSA) 71 70, M HELLIGKILDE (DEN) 70 71,

142 M JORDAN (ENG) 70 72, M BALDWIN (ENG) 70 72, C BARROW (ENG) 66 76, M PENGE (ENG) 73 69, R GOUVEIA (POR) 70 72, D COUPLAND (ENG) 71 71, J THOMSON (ENG) 73 69, M SCHMITT (GER) 71 71, D LAW (SCO) 71 71, M ARMITAGE (ENG) 71 71, G FORREST (SCO) 74 68, M KINHULT (SWE) 70 72, D VAN DRIEL (NED) 69 73,

143 F LACROIX (FRA) 70 73, J WANG (KOR) 67 76, T CLEMENTS (ENG) 68 75, J GUMBERG (USA) 72 71, M WARREN (SCO) 69 74, C MCKINNEY (AUS) 71 72, V PASTOR (ESP) 74 69, S SCOTT (SCO) 75 68, M ROTTLUFF (GER) 71 72, J RUTHERFORD (ENG) 69 74, J DAVIDSON (WAL) 70 73, T MCKIBBIN (NIR) 78 65, J LEE (USA) 71 72,

144 J ZUNIC (AUS) 69 75, C HILL (SCO) 69 75, F SCHOTT (GER) 70 74, M LORENZO-VERA (FRA) 71 73, C HANNA (USA) 71 73, R ENOCH (WAL) 71 73, G KRISTJANSSON (ISL) 70 74, M ELVIRA (ESP) 71 73, E FERGUSON (SCO) 72 72, M SIMONSEN (DEN) 71 73, P WARING (ENG) 69 75,

145 L CANTER (ENG) 69 76, L DE JAGER (RSA) 70 75, S FERNANDEZ (ESP) 74 71, G STAL (FRA) 68 77, A GARCIA-HEREDIA (ESP) 74 71, N KEARNEY (IRL) 75 70, R RUFFELS (AUS) 73 72, G DE LEO (ITA) 65 80, R MACINTYRE (SCO) 69 76, J AXELSEN (DEN) 76 69, Y KIM (KOR) 71 74, H STUREHED (SWE) 74 71,

146 T STRYDOM (RSA) 74 72, D HOWELL (ENG) 69 77, B VIRTO (ESP) 71 75, M LUNDBERG (SWE) 73 73, D MCELROY (NIR) 74 72, B EASTON (RSA) 73 73, J CATLIN (USA) 71 75,

147 E BERTHEUSSEN (NOR) 70 77, D WHITBY-SMITH (ENG) 69 78, K DAVIDSE (RSA) 73 74, D BORDA (ESP) 72 75, M GRADECKI (POL) 74 73, B WINDRED (AUS) 72 75, J SCHAPER (RSA) 72 75, R MCGEE (IRL) 75 72, L SCALISE (ITA) 75 72, R LANGASQUE (FRA) 71 76, A WILSON (ENG) 77 70, J KO (FRA) 77 70,

148 C HOWIE (SCO) 71 77, J STALTER (FRA) 67 81, R PARATORE (ITA) 70 78, K HIGA (JPN) 71 77, M KENNEDY (AM) (IRL) 73 75, J SURI (USA) 75 73, D DIXON (ENG) 75 73,

149 J JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 73 76, J CALDWELL (NIR) 71 78, J SAINZ (ESP) 73 76, O FARR (WAL) 71 78, D HORSEY (ENG) 72 77, C LEE (SCO) 75 74, T AIKEN (RSA) 70 79, V MEYER (GER) 72 77, T MURRAY (ENG) 75 74, G PORTEOUS (ENG) 71 78, U COUSSAUD (FRA) 73 76,

150 Z MORGAN (ENG) 73 77, J KRUYSWIJK (RSA) 73 77, R MCGOWAN (ENG) 78 72, A PLANT (ENG) 74 76, T ED?N (SWE) 75 75, D MCGRANE (IRL) 77 73,

151 C JARVIS (RSA) 76 75, Y LIU (CHN) 76 75, D RAVETTO (FRA) 78 73,

152 M MANASSERO (ITA) 74 78, F AGUILAR (CHI) 73 79, M STEWART (SCO) 78 74, K REITAN (NOR) 78 74,

153 R MCEVOY (ENG) 74 79, H ISLAM (ENG) 71 82,


155 L BJERREGAARD (DEN) 76 79, D MOSTERT (RSA) 78 77, J MURPHY (IRL) 78 77,

156 M FEUERSTEIN (USA) 80 76,

157 C PIGEM (ESP) 70 87,

158 J FREIBURGHAUS (SUI) 77 81, D CAREY (IRL) 75 83, A COHEN (ISR) 74 84,



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