Friday, 19 March 2010
Austrian Golf Open - Round Two  (Getty Images)
Austrian Golf Open - Round Two (Getty Images)

England's Benn Barham equalled the lowest 36-hole total of The European Tour season to maintain his lead at the Austrian Golf Open in Vienna.

The 33 year old added a five under par 66 to his opening 63 - that round matched his career low - for a 13 under par halfway aggregate of 129.

"You never know what will happen in this game, just got to keep playing," said Barham. "I made one bogey yesterday but that is all.

"I have been working with a new coach the last few weeks and saw him on Monday. I was happy with what we worked on, came here and the facilities are good here. I did some good work Tuesday and Wednesday and it felt good and then it is just a case of letting it go - that is what I have been doing."

Barham, 175th on The Race to Dubai and fully aware that only the top 115 keep their cards at the end of the season, was two in front of 2007 winner Richard Green.

Australian left-hander Green also shot 66, collecting four birdies in his last seven holes to keep up his pursuit of a third victory on the circuit.

The closest Barham has come to winning a title was when he finished third in last season's Russian Open, but he has already had 12 birdies and an eagle on the Fontana course where Indian Jeev Milkha Singh closed with 18 successive pars to take the title last year.

Scotland's Scott Drummond, whose five-year exemption for winning the flagship PGA Championship at Wentworth runs out this year, returned a 68 to be lying third on ten under.

At 158th on the standings, Drummond was treading water until he birdied three of his last four holes to step up his challenge.

Ryder Cup Dane Søren Hansen moved into fourth spot at nine under thanks to a second successive 67.

Move of the morning, though, came from Welshman Bradley Dredge, so keen to be part of the European side for the first ever staging of The Ryder Cup on his home soil.

Dredge, who began the points race by finishing runner-up at the Omega European Masters, included seven successive birdies - one outside The European Tour all-time record - in his 64.

That catapulted him from 75th overnight to joint 12th on six under as the afternoon starters set off.

On the course, England's Mark Foster moved to nine under after ten holes.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
2BARHAM, BennENG18-19
3HANSEN, SorenDEN18-17
4BLAND, RichardENG18-15
T6BENSON, SeveENG18-13
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