Friday, 23 March 2012
Phillip Price  (Getty Images)
Phillip Price (Getty Images)
Former Ryder Cup hero Phillip Price had five birdies in eight holes to take over at the top of the Trophée Hassan II leaderboard.

The Welshman, who beat Phil Mickelson as Europe won the Ryder Cup in 2002, moved to nine under par in Morocco after strong winds delayed the start of the second round for five-and-a-half hours.

Starting on the back nine at Golf du Palais Royal, Price parred his first five holes before a hattrick of gains from the 15th.

Further birdies followed at the second and fourth as the 45 year old, who kept his European Tour card by the skin of his teeth last season, moved two shots ahead of overnight leader Damien McGrane.

McGrane was amongst the later starters and the Irishman had no prospect of finishing his second round on Friday.

He had been joined in second place by Swede Joel Sjöholm, who was five under through eight holes.

Price has not finished among The European Tour's top 100 money-winners since 2004, and is chasing his first victory for nine years.

Helped by holing a bunker shot on the short 16th, his seventh, Price took over at the top from McGrane, although it was 5.30pm before the Irishman teed off again on seven under.

More than half the field will have to complete their rounds tomorrow morning, but unlike last month's Qatar Masters, which also had to be halted because of wind, it is still hoped to keep the event at 72 holes.

Sjöholm birdied the fourth to take solo second on eight under, with McGrane joined by José Manuel Lara,the Spaniard five under for the day with five to play.

South African Garth Mulroy matched McGrane’s opening 65, but coming after an opening 73 it left him tied for fifth on six under. 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1HOEY, MichaelNIR18-17
2MCGRANE, DamienIRL18-14
T3COLES, RobertENG18-13
T3PRICE, PhillipWAL18-13
T6MOLINARI, EdoardoITA18-12

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