Friday, 19 March 2010
Open de Espana - Round Two  (Getty Images)
Open de Espana - Round Two (Getty Images)

Thomas Levet revealed a scrambled par at the 427 yard tenth was the catalyst for his second round 67 at the Open de España which has given him a two shot halfway lead.

The Frenchman had dropped a shot at the ninth to fall back to ten under and was trailing nearest rival Søren Hansen when he sent a wild drive down the left of the par four hole.

His recovery was not much better but with his round threatening to unravel the former Ryder Cup player holed a putt from 21 feet for par.

That sparked an inward 33 with three birdies to take the 40 year old to 13 under at PGA Golf Catalunya near Girona.

“The tenth was the turning point, right after the bogey on the ninth,” admitted Levet.

“I hit a bad driver to the left and went 20 meters off, hit a seven iron to the left of the green, to a hill then to the bunker and I holed the putt from 21 feet for par.

“This par turned it all around because I could have lost concentration, and from then I played very well until the end. I love PGA Golf de Catalunya, this is my favourite course in Spain, I like it even more than Sevilla. I enjoy playing in Spain because of the food, the Jamón.”

Hansen would have been tied at the top of the leaderboard but he suffered a second double bogey of the championship at his final hole.

While annoyed to finish as he did - he went from rough to bunker and then three putted the 478 yard ninth - Hansen could draw huge confidence from the fact that after starting the tournament with a double bogey he had played the next 34 holes in 15 under.

And of just four eagles on the 527 yard 12th so far he has had two of them.

“I played great but that double bogey at the last hole was very disappointing. Anyway you never win an event on Friday but you can definitely lose it, and I feel I still have good chances to win it and I will fight for it," he said.

Nobody has made a successful defence of the Spanish Open since Max Faulkner way back in 1953, but Ireland’s Peter Lawrie moved into position to mount a charge with a 66 to lie ten under.

The 35 year old, who burst into third place with six birdies in eight holes, has revealed an extra source of inspiration.

"Somebody said yesterday about me being the ex-Spanish Open champion. I said 'No, I am the current Spanish Open champion’,” said Lawrie.

"I just have to try to play well and let the scores make the point."

All three benefited from calmer conditions in the morning, and once the breeze picked up in the afternoon they were never likely to be dislodged from the top three spots.

Alejandro Cañizares leads the home challenge from eight under, level with England’s Chris Wood.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LEVET, ThomasFRA18-18
2ZANOTTI, FabrizioPAR18-16
T3LAWRIE, PeterIRL18-14
T3BJÖRN, ThomasDEN18-14
5SCHWARTZEL, CharlRSA18-10
T6SIEM, MarcelGER18-9
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