Friday, 20 August 1999
Greig Hutcheon strengthened his grip on the BMW Russian Open with a second round 68 at the Moscow Country Club. It leaves the 26-year-old Scot on 13-under-par 131, three strokes clear of Yorkshire's Iain Pyman and four ahead of Jose Manuel Lara of Spain.

After his sensational 63 in the first round, which left him one ahead of Pyman, the question was would Hutcheon stay ahead under the pressure.

He answered that in brilliant fashion, running in seven birdies to take his tally to 17 in two rounds and his new Ping putter was still working well.

"A few putts went in which didn't look like making it so I'm delighted," he said.

It's the first time Kent-based Hutcheon has led a Challenge Tour event but in this mood he could stay ahead and complete his maiden victory.

But there are a number of more experienced men just over his shoulder, not least Pyman who described his 70 as average. "I didn't play that well so I can't complain with 70," he said.

South African Hennie Otto, who is playing in Moscow on a sponsor's invitation, carded a second successive 68 for fourth place, while another invitee, Zimbabwe's Marc Cayeux is fifth on 137.

After the start of play had been delayed for two-and-a-half-hours following heavy overnight rain which left parts of the course flooded, the last matches finished in twilight.

The cut came at two under par 142 and included teenager Justin Rose whose four-birdie 69 left him on the limit. And he hasn't ruled himself out of the hunt. "If I can shoot two 66s I still have a chance of winning," he said."

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