Pepperell and Westwood in Irish Open contention

Eddie Pepperell and Lee Westwood moved into contention with fine rounds on day two of the Irish Open.

Padraig Harrington had carded an opening seven-under 63, but playing in wet conditions the Irishman slipped down the leaderboard on Friday due to posting 73.

It was down to Westwood and Pepperell to make progress with the English duo both recording rounds of 67, with the latter now one shot off the lead.

Pepperell was thrilled to have played well – with an eagle at the 12th making up for two dropped shots elsewhere – as he made his return from a back injury.

“I really had no idea where I was standing at so to have this performance through two rounds is certainly a nice surprise,” he said. “I’m not hitting the ball perfectly but my short game has been feeling good. We’ll just see how the weekend goes.”

South Africa’s Zander Lombard, ranked 316th in the world, leads the way on nine under after he followed up a 64 on the opening day with 67 on Friday.

A second-round 64 moved Jorge Campillo tied for third with Westwood, with Abraham Ancer of Mexico also eight under.

Last year’s champion Russell Knox is two shots further back after an eagle at the last ended an inconsistent round of 68 on a high.