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Golf: Bjorn, Gallacher soar in Switzerland, Lahiri leads Asian chase

Thomas Bjorn, a 13-time European Tour winner, shares the lead with Stephen Gallacher at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images.

Thomas Bjorn, a 13-time European Tour winner, shares the lead with Stephen Gallacher at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images.

September 7, 2013: India’s Anirban Lahiri put up a battling performance with an even-par-71 on Friday to trail 2011 champion Thomas Bjorn of Denmark and Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher by two shots after the second-round of the Omega European Masters.

 

Bjorn (66), whose victory in 2011 was his 13th on the European Tour, and Gallacher (65) set the pace in Crans Montana to lead by one from a group of five players including 2010 winner Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) in the only tournament held in Europe joint sanctioned by The European Tour and Asian Tour.

 

Thai star Thongchai Jaidee, the three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner (2001, 2004 and 2009), and 18-year-old Chinese star Li Haotong each shot 69 to lie five shots off the pace at five-under in the €2.1 million event.

 

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (68) of Thailand and Gaganjeet Bhullar (71) of India, first and second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit respectively, were among six Asian Tour players on three-under.

 

India’s Shiv Kapur (69), Thailand’s Pariya Junhasavasdikul (72), Australian Scott Hend (70) and American Berry Henson (72) were also three-under in a share of 30th place.

 

Ye Wocheng, the 13-year-old Chinese who this week became the youngest player to compete on the Asian Tour, missed the cut after following an opening 78 with a 76. Ye became the youngest player to compete on the European Tour in May when the-then 12-year-old took part in the Volvo China Open, also missing the cut.

 

Lahiri, the three-time Asian Tour winner, led the tournament after an opening 63, but struggled to repeat his heroics on day two and had to settle for a share of eighth.

 

“It was a grind. I started off well, but I couldn’t find the fairways after that. It was tough because I never really put myself in a position to get on a roll,” Lahiri said.

 

Lahiri, 26, was in commanding form at the start when he fired two birdies in his opening three holes to extend his overnight lead. After turning in 35, the Indian picked up another gain on the 14th, but a costly double-bogey on 16 saw him slip down the leaderboard.

 

“I wasn’t even close to playing my A game as I was really struggling to find the fairways. But I think I did well given the fact I didn’t play great and for an average day I haven’t lost so much ground and am still very much in it,” Lahiri said.

 

Bjorn and Gallacher are each aiming for an Omega double. Bjorn is aiming to be crowned King of the Mountains for a second time in three years, while Gallacher is chasing a second victory in an Omega-sponsored event in 2013 after triumphing in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February.

 

Bjorn appeared to sign for another flawless round until a bogey on the last hole opened the door for Gallacher to take a share of the lead.

 

“It wasn’t the prettiest at the end, but I played well today. I just kept patient. I told myself not to make any silly bogeys this week and I made one on the last which was the first one,” said the 42-year-old Dane.

 

Gallacher was also left to rue his only blemish on the 17th, which could have otherwise given him the outright lead.

 

“That was a solid round. I holed some good putts. I will take another two more of those. I hit the ball really good on the front nine and got my just rewards. I holed a couple of decent putts on the back nine too, but didn’t play that well but I’m in there,” said Gallacher.

 

“First place is not bad. I’m happy with that. It gives me something to work on over the weekend.”

 

The 38-year-old, who has been struggling with a back problem, is in good form, losing in a playoff to Englishman Tommy Fleetwood on home soil in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles a fortnight ago.

 

Spanish legend Jiménez carded five birdies in six holes on the back nine in his 68 and shares third place with young Frenchman Victor Dubuisson (65), Fleetwood (68) and two other Englishman, Richard Finch (66), and Danny Willett (64).

 

Former Ryder Cup players Paul Casey (69) and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington (65) are well placed going into the weekend, on eight-under and seven-under respectively.

Round 2, Omega European Masters, Crans-sur-sierre GC (par 71), Switzerland

 

132 T Björn (Den) 66 66, S Gallacher (Sco) 67 65

133 M Jiménez (Esp) 65 68, R Finch (Eng) 67 66, V Dubuisson (Fra) 68 65, D Willett (Eng) 69 64, T Fleetwood (Eng) 65 68

134 M Tullo (Chi) 68 66, B Koepka (USA) 68 66, A Lahiri (Ind) 63 71, P Casey (Eng) 65 69, A Cañizares (Esp) 69 65

135 P Harrington (Irl) 70 65, R Sterne (RSA) 69 66,

136 C Lee (Sco) 71 65, B Rumford (Aus) 68 68, J Van Zyl (RSA) 68 68,

137 T Jaidee (Tha) 68 69, M Kieffer (Ger) 68 69, G Havret (Fra) 68 69, G Fdez-Castaño (Esp) 70 67, L Hao-Tong (Chn) 68 69, D Howell (Eng) 70 67,

138 K Broberg (Swe) 70 68, S Benson (Eng) 70 68, P Lawrie (Sco) 68 70, K Horne (RSA) 69 69, J Olazábal (Esp) 67 71, R Karlberg (Swe) 69 69,

139 E De La Riva (Esp) 68 71, S Kapur (Ind) 70 69, G Maybin (Nir) 70 69, P Junhasavasdikul (Tha) 67 72, B Henson (USA) 67 72, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 71 68, G Bhullar (Ind) 68 71, S Hend (Aus) 69 70, M Manassero (Ita) 70 69

140 R Fisher (Eng) 71 69, D Ulrich (Sui) 71 69, S Dyson (Eng) 71 69, R Coles (Eng) 69 71, T Levet (Fra) 68 72, M Hoey (Nir) 67 73, K Pratt (Aus) 71 69, S Hansen (Den) 69 71, A Que (Phi) 70 70, S Henry (Sco) 70 70, G Bourdy (Fra) 69 71, M Fraser (Aus) 69 71

141 J Quesne (Fra) 72 69, J Campillo (Esp) 71 70, J Luiten (Ned) 70 71, J Gonnet (Fra) 72 69, A Tadini (Ita) 68 73, C Cévaër (Fra) 70 71, O Fisher (Eng) 77 64, J Moore (USA) 69 72, T Lewis (Eng) 71 70, M Korhonen (Fin) 72 69, S Wakefield (Eng) 72 69, A Wall (Eng) 70 71, C Nirat (Tha) 71 70, S Kjeldsen (Den) 70 71, A Dodt (Aus) 69 72, S Barr (Aus) 69 72, S Dodd (Wal) 69 72, E Amacher (am) (Sui) 72 69

 

Missed cut:

142 C Paisley (Eng) 71 71, P Uihlein (USA) 73 69, F Molinari (Ita) 69 73, M Ilonen (Fin) 72 70, A Hartø (Den) 71 71, J Edfors (Swe) 73 69, I Garrido (Esp) 71 71, P Price (Wal) 71 71, P Larrazábal (Esp) 73 69, S Thornton (Irl) 71 71, K Benz (Sui) 71 71, B Åkesson (Swe) 71 71, R Bland (Eng) 74 68, R Wattel(Fra) 72 70, M Grönberg (Swe) 71 71, R Paratore (am) (Ita) 72 70

143 J Singh (Ind) 68 75, R Santos (Por) 72 71, A Da Silva (Bra) 74 69, M Nixon (Eng) 69 74, R De Sousa (Sui) 74 69, A Levy (Fra) 71 72, M Warren (Sco) 70 73, W Ormsby (Aus) 72 71, D Lipsky (USA) 73 70, J Sjöholm (Swe) 75 68, M Foster (Eng) 72 71, D Horsey (Eng) 71 72, D Clarke (Nir) 69 74, D Drysdale (Sco) 68 75

144 A Vongvanij (Tha) 78 66, R Gonzalez (Arg) 77 67, J Morrison (Eng) 74 70, T Wiratchant (Tha) 71 73, R Ramsay (Sco) 73 71, S Chowrasia (Ind) 73 71, A Hansen (Den) 71 73, J Parry (Eng) 77 67, M Wiegele (Aut) 72 72, D McGrane (Irl) 73 71, D Singh (Ind) 76 68, R Green (Aus) 71 73, F Aguilar (Chi) 74 70, M Rominger (Sui) 72 72, L Gagli (Ita) 72 72, M Baldwin (Eng) 71 73, L Slattery (Eng) 73 71, J Kruger (RSA) 74 70, P Whiteford (Sco) 72 72, N Thommen (am) (Sui) 72 72

145 A Kaleka (Fra) 73 72, E Grillo (Arg) 70 75, F Zanotti (Par) 72 73, B Grace (RSA) 76 69, J Donaldson (Wal) 75 70, C Muniyappa (Ind) 71 74, P Waring (Eng) 73 72

146 J Lara (Esp) 74 72, G Lockerbie (Eng) 70 76, M Delpodio (Ita) 72 74, J Lucquin (Fra) 71 75, M Carlsson (Swe) 74 72, M Kobayashi (Jpn) 74 72, E Pepperell (Eng) 75 71, A Bossert (Sui) 73 73, M Lafeber (Ned) 72 74

147 M Siddikur (Ban) 72 75, T Aiken (RSA) 74 73, P Lawrie (Irl) 72 75, R Derksen (Ned) 77 70, A Quiros (Esp) 71 76, H Rai (Ind) 73 74, J Walters (RSA) 74 73

148 M Fenasse (am) (Fra) 76 72

149 F Andersson Hed (Swe) 77 72, B Rusch (am) (Sui) 76 73

150 G Storm (Eng) 78 72

152 S Strüver (Ger) 79 73, P Meesawat (Tha) 80 72

153 M Mamat (Sin) 73 80, H Otto (RSA) 72 81, D Gleeson (Aus) 80 73

154 Y Wo-Cheng (am) (Chn) 78 76

157 F Svanberg (Sui) 80 77, E Kofstad (Nor) 73 84

 ** D Fichardt (RSA) 69 DQ, C Doak (Sco) 76 RT, J Granberg (Fin) 78 RT,

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