The Irish challenge faded badly at the HNA Open de France as only Paul Dunne could make the halfway cut at Le Golf National.

Dunne, starting on the 10th tee recovered from a nightmare start that saw him card three bogeys in his opening four holes to card a one-over round of 72 that saw him finish one shot inside the cut line at level par.

That is eight shots behind the lead, held by Peter Uihlein and Adrian Otaegui, who are a shot clear of England's Tommy Fleetwood and Swede Alexander Bjork.

Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke all missed the cut, however, with McDowell bogeying his final four holes to miss out on the weekend by two shots.

Lowry had a nightmare day, also starting on the 10th and going out in 40 to end any hope of making the cut. The Offaly man finished the day with a six-over 77 to finish on nine over par.

Clarke, meanwhile, carded a 76 but it was yesterday's score of 84 that did the real damage to his hopes.

Uihlein, who carded a second sucessive 67, missed the cut at the US Open a fortnight ago, and hailed his improved putting stroke for the sudden return to contention.

"I've holed a decent amount of putts, which I didn't do at all at the US Open," he said.

"To come out a week and a half later and start holing some putts takes a lot of pressure off a lot of things. Makes it a little more comforting.

"We still have 36 holes left, so you never know. But I think any time you can put yourself into contention after two days is where you want to be and see where you're at as the weekend plays out."