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Uihlein Shares Lead in Irish Open; McIlroy Misses Cut


American Peter Uihlein followed up his opening 5-under 67 with a 68 on Friday to take a share of the lead in the Irish Open. The European Tour event is taking place at Carton House Golf Club in County Kildare.

Uihlein, the 2010 U.S. Amateur champion who decided to forgo qualifying for the PGA Tour after an All-American career at Oklahoma State, carded five birdies and a bogey to tie England's Robert Rock at 9-under 135. Rock has posted rounds of 69 and 66.

Uihlein told reporters that the blustery conditions at Carton House are not unfamiliar to him.

"In college in Oklahoma, it was quite windy all the time," said Uihlein, who in May won the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal for his first win in Europe. "So I quite enjoy the wind and knew it was tough out there. It was gusting at times, and it was a good, solid day.

"I feel like in the wind, you don't have to be perfect, which is what I struggle with. I would try and be too perfect sometimes and in the wind, you just play golf, you hit shots and you just try and maneuver it a little bit. I feel like when it gets windy, you have almost a little more room, so I enjoy it."

Rock, a two-time winner in Europe whose biggest title came in Abu Dhabi in 2012 when he upset Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, carded four birdies and an eagle on the par-4 fourth hole. "I've been putting a little bit better lately so to start the day with an five-foot putt for a birdie was nice, and I drove it well for the rest of the round really," said the 36-year-old.

"I think I had 26 putts today, which is as good as I've done in a long while. I've had 26 putts over the past few weeks, but generally all tap-ins, so didn't really count. I've been failing to set the ball on line for a long time, and that did it."

Sharing third at 137 are local favorite Shane Lowry (70), The Netherlands' Joost Luiten (70), Portugal's Ricardo Santos (66), Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal (69) and 18-hole leader Sweden's Oscar Floren (71).

Scott Henry of Scotland carded the low round of the day, an 8-under 64, to rise into a tie for eighth at 138 with Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin, who both shot 69s.

The cut line was set at even-par 144. Though he posted a 72, No. 2-ranked McIlroy couldn't overcome his opening 74, after which he said he felt "a little lost."

"From tee to green it was much better," McIlroy said after Friday's round. "But I need to put in a hard work and the hours to get ready for the (British) Open in two weeks time."

Also heading home are fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell and three-time major champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland, who both shot rounds of 71 and 74.

For scoring updates, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2013/tournamentid=2013050/leaderboard/index.html.