Friday, 23 June 2017
Joel Stalter  (European Tour)
Joel Stalter (European Tour)

Joakim Lagergren and Joël Stalter led the way at the halfway stage of the BMW International Open but Major champions Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson were right in the mix on a congested leaderboard at Golfclub München Eichenried.

Swede Lagergren had set the target at nine under in the morning with an excellent 66 and Frenchman Stalter joined him from the later starters with a 68 on a windy day in Germany.

Defending champion Stenson and Masters Tournament winner Garcia were then a shot off the lead alongside Swede Rikard Karlberg, England's Richard Bland and Belgian Thomas Detry.

Stenson, twice a winner of this event and the reigning Open champion, had a single bogey in his 69, while Garcia - playing his first event on European soil since his triumph at Augusta National - carded a 70.

It was Lagergren and Stalter who stole the show, however, and they will go out last on Saturday as both men seek a first European Tour title.

Lagergren started from the tenth and made birdies on the 11th and 13th before surrendering a stroke on the next. A hat-trick of birdies from the 16th then moved him within a shot of the lead.

Another on the fourth meant he was the solo leader but when he gave the shot straight back on the next, there was a seven-way tie for the lead at seven under. An approach to four feet on the seventh then edged the 25 year old back ahead before he took advantage of the par five ninth.

"It was great out there," he said. "I had a lot of fun out there. Playing really, really good, especially from tee-to-green. So I'm happy with that.

"It's a little bit more windy, yes. I would say the greens are a bit smaller when it's this windy but if you're still hitting really good shots out there, it's scoreable."

Stalter started on the tenth and birdies on the 13th, 15th and 16th saw him turn in 33 before another on the first had him in a share of the lead. He then went bogey-birdie-bogey from the third but hit the pin to get up and down on the sixth and once again share the lead.

"I played really well," he said. "Gave myself a lot of opportunities. Pretty tough out there with the wind. It was very gusty, so difficult to control the ball and it was getting firmer as well. So I'm really pleased with that round.

"I'll keep doing the job here and hitting good shots, making putts, and we'll see where I stand on Sunday."

Stenson also started from the tenth and turned in 35 with two birdies and a bogey before a smart up-and-down from the sand on the first handed him another gain. An excellent approach to the par three eighth then helped move him within one of the summit.

Garcia jumped into a share of the lead with a hat-trick of gains courtesy of a lengthy putt on the seventh, excellent tee-shot to the par three eighth and routine birdie on the ninth.

A three-putt on the 14th dropped him to eight under and he made another bogey on the 17th before getting on the last green in two for a closing birdie.

Bland and Karlberg both signed for rounds of 69 while Detry carded a 71.

Swede Niclas Fasth - the 2007 champion - South African Hennie Otto and England's Matthew Southgate were then at seven under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1ROMERO, AndresARG18-17
T2DETRY, ThomasBEL18-16
T2GARCIA, SergioESP18-16
T2BLAND, RichardENG18-16
5KARLBERG, RikardSWE18-14

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