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Friday, 03 June 2011

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Swede Alex Noren took over at the top from South African Keith Horne during the second round of the Saab Wales Open.

Noren shot 67 at The Celtic Manor Resort to reach eight under, one in front of Horne, who had yet to tee off, and two ahead of England's Paul Broadhurst, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson and Ryder Cup Swede Peter Hanson.

Noren was four under par for the second day running – but with five holes to play he was not even under par.

But a hattrick of gains from the 14th was followed by a four at the par five last to give the former Omega European Masters winner the clubhouse lead.

“At 14, that was probably my two best shots in a row there, because that tee shot isn't easy,” said Noren. “I had a six iron or five iron into the green, and I went for the six. I hit a great shot - tough pin.

“You've got to place the ball in the fairway, and then you've got a long shot into the green. It's a lot longer than we usually play. It's probably like Wentworth length.

“But I'm trying to be nice to myself. Even if I miss a shot, I'm trying to just see the positive and go from that. It felt probably easier than it looked.

“I think probably somebody will get to nine, ten under, or more even. Good ball strikers around here are favoured. Peter Hanson has a good chance this afternoon, even though it's windy. We'll see.”

Like Hanson, defending champion Graeme McDowell – who opened with a 67 - was only just teeing off again.

And 50 year old Barry Lane kept alive his hopes of being The European Tour's oldest-ever winner with a 69 for five under.

McDowell had to wait a long time for his first birdie in the windy conditions, but a three at the 439 yard eighth was followed by another on the long ninth and he was up in to joint third spot.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1NOREN, AlexanderSWE18-9
T2BOURDY, GrégoryFRA18-7
T2HANSEN, AndersDEN18-7
T4GONZALEZ, RicardoARG18-6
T4LARRAZÁBAL, PabloESP18-6
T4EDFORS, JohanSWE18-6
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