Ryder Cup skipper Colin Montgomerie is three shots off the pace in the $200,000 Egyptian Open after gusting winds prevented low scoring in Cairo. 

Spain’s Carl Suneson (73) and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen (70) share the halfway lead on 6-under par with Banbridge’s Richard Kilpatrick tied for 20th on 1-under after a 73 at the JW Marriott Mirage City Golf Club.

Montgomerie had to settle for an even-par 72 after desert winds gusting up to 25 kmh threatened to blow his championship charge off course.

“The wind made it very difficult out there today and, if anything, it got worse as the day went on,” Montgomerie said after finishing on 3-under overall. 

“I finished well with birdies on the last two holes but again I struggled on the eleventh hole and dropped two shots because of a really bad drive for the second day in a row. But I’m still in there battling away and all set for the weekend.”

Lurgan’s Gareth Shaw, who will tee it up in the Second Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School in a fortnight, fired five birdies, three bogeys and a double in a level par 72 and share 35th place on 2-over.