Gary Murphy and Paul McGinley are hoping for the best. McGinley for all the right reasons after a second round 68 left him two shots behind leader Thomas Aiken in the Omega European Masters. For Murphy, a 14th missed cut of the season leaves him with as few as seven events to save his tour card.

“When you feel in control you are a lot more relaxed but then I didn't play as well today as I had done on Thursday but then that round was exceptional,” said McGinley, who has not won a tour event since the 2005 Volvo Masters.

Winning is the ideal scenario but the 42-year old Dubliner would settle for two more solid rounds after a lean year - 129th in the Race to Dubai and 216th position in the world rankings. It is an indication of the cruel reality of golf that when he won at Valderrama, he was ranked inside the world's top-20.

“I am there or thereabouts and though it's been a pretty dull year up to now, it's important I can play as I have done for the past two days and produce two good scores over the weekend,” he said.

With Darren Clarke on five under after a 68 and Graeme McDowell (70), Gareth Maybin (68) and a wayward Rory McIlroy (71) on four under, Murphy joined Shane Lowry and Michael Hoey on an early flight home.

The Kilkenny man carded a one over par 72 to miss the cut by two shots. At 150th in the money list, he needs a huge week somewhere to save his card.