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Thomas slips up late as Kinhult makes European Tour history

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NEWS
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73   //    30 Jun 2018, 00:14 IST
MarcusKinhult - cropped
Marcus Kinhult leads the Open de France after 36 holes

Marcus Kinhult flew into the lead at the Open de France and created a piece of history in the process, while a late slip-up cost Justin Thomas a share of second.

Swede Kinhult shot a six-under 65, his best performance on the European Tour, in his second round at Le Golf National to move two strokes clear of Chris Wood, who is four under.

High winds made things difficult in Paris on Friday but Kinhult shone in more favourable morning conditions, becoming the first player since records started to be kept in 2000 to bogey the first four holes of an event and lead after 36.

World number two Thomas was two shots adrift alongside Wood when he birdied the 15th, but a foray into the rough and a missed bogey putt on 17 sent him down to a four-way share of fifth with Matt Fitzpatrick, Gregory Havret and Julian Suri on two under.

Such an experience could come in handy when Thomas features for the United States in the Ryder Cup on this course in September.

Overnight leader Bradley Dredge dropped shots on 17 and 18 and signed for a one-over 72, leaving him tied-third with Jon Rahm on three under.

After opening with a strong 68 on Thursday to sit second, Graeme McDowell slipped all the way down to tied-41st at three over.

The main reason for McDowell's slump was a quadruple-bogey eight at the challenging 18th, leaving him with plenty of work to do this weekend.

Two-time Open de France champion McDowell, who will be a vice-captain for Europe at the Ryder Cup, wrote on Twitter: "Never great making [snowman] at the last!!! This course here at the @hnaopendefrance is so good. Play good and you are rewarded. Start missing fairways and you will be found out. Low weekend required."

Andy Sullivan made a stunning birdie on the par-five 14th, chipping in after failing with his attempt to find the green from the long fescue.

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