GRAEME Storm remains firmly in contention at the business end of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The Hartlepool golfer was left to rue two bogeys on the last three holes at Carnoustie yesterday which saw him drop from the top 10 to a share of 20th.
But Storm, paired alongside Formula One legend Damon Hill in the event which features celebrity players alongside the star golfers, is only five strokes off the lead which is being held by Raphael Jacquelin.
Storm and Hill were teeing off at 9.55am today for their third round, at Kingsbarns, with the finale at St Andrews tomorrow, where the Poolie shot a four-under-par 68 on Thursday.
It was a good effort from Storm yesterday on the most challenging of the three links course used for this £3million competition.
This part of Scotland was buffeted by showers and chill winds yesterday, making play tricky, not just for the amateurs but for the professionals too.
Such was the degree of difficulty, only three of the 54 players at Carnoustie broke 70.
Storm got off to a bad start when he bogeyed the par four opener at the 2007 Open Championship course.
But he has made a habit of late of following up a dropped shot with a birdie and he did just that yesterday, making threes at the par four second and third holes.
After a run of eight pars, he birdied the 12th to go to six under and was sitting pretty in the top 10.
However, bogeys at the 16th and 17th brought him back to level par for the day and four under for the championship.
Storm signed for a 72 to be one of eight players in a share for 20th.
It was a good day for the Storm and Hill partnership as they climbed to 24th out of 168 in the team competition.
On the individual championship standings, Storm was joined on four under par by two Ryder Cup heroes – Rory McIlroy and Victor Dubuisson.
McIlroy, whose partner is his dad, Gerry, started the day nine shots off the pace and dropped back to two over par with a bogey on the 14th.
However, the world number one responded in style with a superb fairway-wood approach to the par five 16th and rolled in the eagle putt from 15 feet on his way to a round of 67 at Kingsbarns.
Dubuisson, also playing at Kingsbarns, sunk four birdies in his last seven holes to register a 69.
Frenchman Jacquelin claimed the halfway lead after carding a second round of 70, one shot ahead of Irish duo Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington, England’s Oliver Wilson and France’s Alexander Levy.
Eleven of the top 12 scores came from players who were at Kingsbarns.
Jacquelin birdied his final two holes to move into pole position for a possible fifth European Tour title.
Lowry, who finished joint third in this event 12 months ago, was the only player in the top 12 to play at St Andrews on Friday, meaning he will face Carnoustie today before the final round is again played over the Old Course.