Friday, 19 March 2010
Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson and Eduardo Romero of Argentina flew the flag for The European Tour in the 103rd US Open Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club, Illinois, moving jointly into contention in the early stages of the second round.

Jacobson, already a double winner on The 2003 European Tour International Schedule, followed up his opening 69 with an excellent 67 while Romero, who beat
Jacobson in a play-off for last year's Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond, went one better, adding a 66 to his first round 70.

It left the duo on four under par 136, alongside former Open Golf Champion Nick Price, all three shots adrift of pacesetter Jim Furyk, the US Ryder Cup player carding rounds of 67-66 for a seven under par total of 133, the lowest total to par at the halfway stage in the history of the US Open Championship.

For Jacobson, the fairytale continued. The 28 year old Swede, winner of the Omega Hong Kong Open and the Algarve Open de Portugal this year, had to travel to the sectional qualifying in America a fortnight ago to secure his debut in the event.

He managed that in considerable style, finishing number one in the competition at Old Oaks Country Club in New York state and continued in a similar vein when the competition proper moved westwards to the suburbs of Chicago.

Starting his second round at the tenth, Jacobson recovered from an early dropped shot at the 14th with a birdie at the 16th before turning on the style turning for home with birdies at the third, fourth and seventh.

After parring the eighth, Jacobson left himself a monster putt on his final green of the day, the ninth, but from fully 80 feet away at the front of the putting surface, the Swede rolled his ball to within three feet of the cup from where he holed out for par.

If Jacobson's start had been a little uncertain, Romero's could not have been more opposite, holing out for eagle three on the 576 yard first hole. From there, the 49 year old continued to prosper, especially on the back nine with
birdies at the tenth, 12th, and 13th.

Further down the leaderboard there was further good news for The European Tour contingent amongst the early starters, with Germany's Alex Cejka and Darren
Clarke finishing on one under par 139 after respective second rounds of 66 and 69.

Clarke, who partnered leader Furyk and Phil Mickelson, said: "One under is not too bad. I gave myself chances, hit it close and hit good putts but too many of them spun out.

"But I had fun out there. Myself, Jim and Phil all played some good golf in parts of our round. We all have different styles but there were a lot of good shots played out there especially from Jim who played fantastically well - he'll be the man to beat this week."

For his part, Furyk was delighted with his flawless 66, which featured birdies at the first, sixth, 13th and 14th, which gave him a place in the history books with the lowest score recorded at the halfway stage in a US Open.

"I played a very solid round of golf," said Furyk. "Darren and Phil are longer than me so I went out at the golf course a different way and I think the game plan is working well. I really had control of my iron shots and I'm very comfortable with my striking of the ball.

"Maybe if you are younger it is harder to keep to your strategy. But I'm veteran enough to know I have to play by my own game and just attack the golf course the best way for myself."

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