Foster takes early lead

2012-08-24 17:59

Gleneagles - Mark Foster set about ending a nine-year winless drought in moving one stroke clear midway on day two of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

The 38-year-old Englishman shot another 4-under 68 on Friday to go 8-under overall in search of his second Tour victory after capturing the 2003 Dunhill Championship in South Africa.

Scotland's Ryder Cup star Paul Lawrie and Australia's Brett Rumford are the next best clubhouse scores on 7-under. Lawrie, who returns to the Ryder Cup next month for the first time in 13 years, shot 69 and Rumford 70.

"The Ryder Cup is still in the back of my mind but these last couple of days I have been able to just stand up and pick my target and not worry too much about the Ryder Cup," Lawrie said.

European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal will likely have the weekend off to consider his two 'wildcard' picks after a 69 left him 3-over - the wrong side of the projected cut-off mark.

Former British Open champion Darren Clarke also finished on 3-over after a par-72.

The Northern Irishman, who played alongside Olazabal, returned to the tournament after a four-year absence. He has not broken 70 in 10 rounds on the Gleneagles course.