Friday, 19 March 2010
Avantha Masters - Round Two  (Getty Images)
Avantha Masters - Round Two (Getty Images)

Barry Lane's second consecutive round of 67 saw the veteran Englishman take a narrow lead as the Avantha Masters approached the midway point in Delhi.

Lane, who is set to join the Senior Tour in June, began the day at DLF Golf and Country Club tied for third - three shots behind overnight leader Marcel Siem - and three birdies over his opening nine holes saw the 49 year old remain in touch at the top.

He picked up another shot at the first and, although that was subsequently cancelled out with a bogey at the fifth, two more birdies saw Lane finish ten under and a stroke ahead of four players.

“I have actually started off the year all right but my problem for the past two years has been my putting,” he said.

“I have managed to post a couple of 68s here and there and then I have had a nice couple of 67s to start the week here.

“If you can shoot those scores then you know that there is something there but I have really struggled with my putting and that has stopped me from scoring well all the time.”

It would be a remarkable turnaround if Lane could go on to complete victory - the 1993 Ryder Cup player has only had two top 30 finishes in the last two years, and has relied on his position in the top 40 career money earners to retain his card.

Lane had trailed Andrew Dodt for most of the morning but a double bogey at the 16th saw the Australian slip back into a tie for second on nine under.

Dodt reached the turn in 32 following four birdies over his opening nine holes and, although his progress was checked with a bogey at the 10th, three consecutive birdies from the 11th helped him to the top of the leaderboard.

However, a wayward tee shot on the par three 16th found the water and he eventually took a five to card a 68 and finish nine under.

He joined David Drysdale after the Scot produced a strong finish with three consecutive birdies in his five under 67.

Approaching the 16th, Drysdale had collected four birdies against two bogeys but changed the complexion of his second round over the final three holes.

“Overall I am pretty happy with the first two days here,” he said.

“I have driven the ball well but haven’t putted great this week. I have holed a few nice birdie putts but then missed a few short ones.

“It is difficult to read the grainy greens here though. I can’t read grain at all and I don’t think many of the European guys are very good at it to be honest so that is an extra challenge for us coming over here.”

Siem was also nine under through five holes after a birdie at the first, as was Chan Yin-shin after picking up shots on the fourth and sixth.

Northern Irishman Darren Clarke climbed back into contention with one of the best rounds of the day, a six under par 66 that featured nine birdies, seven of which came in his last seven holes.

“I started off a bit out of sorts – I couldn’t quite figure the swing out and then it clicked into place about the 14th and I hit some really nice shots after that,” he said after reaching seven under par for the tournament.

“I needed to do something after yesterday and I managed to do it.

“I am definitely getting back to where I want it to be. Just look at the two rounds here: I was a bit disappointed with one under yesterday and then the fact that I go out today and it is not quite right but I manage to turn it around is pretty good.”

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