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Friday, 17 September 2010
John Parry  (Getty Images)
John Parry (Getty Images)

John Parry’s five under par 67 gave him the halfway lead at the Austrian GolfOpen presented by Botarin.

The 23 year old Challenge Tour graduate carded five birdies without dropping a shot to reach eight under par at Diamond Country Club, enough for a one shot lead over Graeme McDowell, Jose Manuel Lara and Pelle Edberg.

“It’s a bit early to be looking at leaderboards – we’re only in the second round,” said Parry. “It is a lead, though, so I’m happy going into the weekend in front. I’d always prefer to be in the lead than not.”

Parry was part of a Walker Cup team that included Rory McIlroy, Rhys Davies and David Horsey in 2007 – all of whom have since gone on to win on The European Tour.

If Parry can do the same it would secure his future on The European Tour – he is currently 117th on The Race to Dubai with the top 115 retaining their playing cards at the end of the season.

And after his round, Parry revealed the accuracy of his approaches had been key.

“It was good - it was similar to yesterday in that I was hitting it very solidly,” he said. “I think I hit 17 greens which is great because I haven’t been hitting it that well recently.

“I’ve been just trying to get round and getting by on good putting - now I’m hitting it well and my putting is not so good – it’s always the way.”

Despite his unerring accuracy of his irons, there appeared little wrong with his putter at the second when he curled home a 25 foot birdie putt.

US Open Championship winner McDowell, playing his last event before The Ryder Cup in October, looked to be in great form as he birdied four of his first five holes.

He then responded to a bogey at the 17th with another gain before parring every hole on the way in for a four under 68 and seven under total.

“It’s very much the old cliché of a game of two halves, this golf course,” said McDowell – who can close the gap to Martin Kaymer at the top of The Race to Dubai this week.

“This front nine’s quite tricky and you’ve got to drive the ball unbelievably well to have any chance of making birdies. On the back nine it’s a lot more three woods and hybrids off the tees which offers you a few more opportunities and I think the greens are a little flatter as well.

“I think I’m two over par for the front nine and nine under par for the back nine overall so I certainly know where I need to make up some shots on the weekend.”

Lara joined him after a mixed round of four birdies and three bogeys in a 71.

The former UBS Hong Open winner is down at 130th on The Race to Dubai and is another looking for a good performance this week to move into the top 115.

“Everything has changed, now I’m 33 and my mind is not the same as before,” said Lara. “And we have new grooves, new courses - The Tour is changing every year.

“I still feel young in myself, but there are many young Spanish guys coming up now and already have their cards. So I need to fight this year and that’s what I’m doing.”

Edberg – renowned for his colourful headbands – was also bogey free in his four under 68.

At 114th on The Race to Dubai the Swede is another yet to make sure he returns to The European Tour in 2011.

“I only made one bogey in 36 holes so it’s very good - I’m not used to that,” said Edberg.

“But I hit some nice shots and played very steady and here we are – it’s very good. There are some tricky tee shots out there but I kept the ball in play.

“You have to be less aggressive on this course in these conditions, but I have just been taking advantage of the par fives. Hopefully this game plan will work over the weekend as well.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LARA, José ManuelESP18-17
2LYNN, DavidENG18-17
T3MCDOWELL, GraemeNIR18-14
T3NOREN, AlexanderSWE18-14
T3WILLETT, DannyENG18-14
T6MCGRANE, DamienIRL18-13
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