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Friday, 10 May 2019
Matt Wallace  (Getty Images)
Matt Wallace (Getty Images)

Matt Wallace stayed bogey free through 36 holes to set the clubhouse target on a weather delayed second day of the Betfred British Masters.

The home favourite carded a 65 on day one and he followed that up with a 67 to get to 12 under and lead the way by one shot from fellow Englishman Ross Fisher and Swede Niklas Lemke.

Lemke made an incredible eight birdies in a row from the 13th to charge up the leaderboard with a 64, while Fisher took one more blow to continue a strong week so far for the home contingent.

The threat of lightning meant an hour and 12 minutes of play was lost but with soft conditions and very little wind, the course record of 63 recorded by Matthew Jordan on day one could come under threat from the later starters.

German Maximilian Kieffer and England's Lee Westwood were in the clubhouse at eight under alongside Swede Marcus Kinhult and Jordan, both of whom were in the early stages of their rounds.

Wallace has spoken of his desire to get to the very top of the game after adding to his backroom team and a win this week would certainly move the World Number 36 in the right direction ahead of next week's US PGA Championship.

Lemke started the day six shots off the lead and when he bogeyed the 11th it did not look likely that he would bother the top end of the leaderboard.

He then began his incredible run on the 13th, chipped in on the 16th, and when he made his seventh consecutive gain, he was in a tie for the lead.

The 35-year-old got on the par five second green in two for the solo lead and an eighth birdie in a row, and James Nitties' European Tour record of nine - set at this season's ISPS Handa Vic Open - was in sight.

An excellent tee shot on the third gave him a good chance but his second shot found the bunker and he did well to get up and down for par.

Another two pars followed before Lemke hit a beautiful approach into the sixth to extend his lead to two shots.

Wallace cut that to one as he took advantage of the par five 11th, 17th and second, and he was soon joined at ten under by countryman Fisher.

The 38-year-old turned in 32 with birdies at the tenth, 11th, 13th and 17th but dropped a first shot of the day on the first. He then took advantage of the second and some more wonderful iron play brought further birdies on the third and fourth before play was suspended.

Blue skies and higher temperatures greeted the players upon their return and Lemke parred the ninth to set the target.

The delay did not seem to prove any distraction for Fisher, who got on the green in two at the par five fifth to make it four birdies in a row and join the lead.

Wallace found sand with his second at the same hole but got up and down to make it a three way tie at the top.

A wonderful approach straight at the flag left the four time European Tour winner with five feet for birdie at the next, and he made no mistake to hit the front on his own.

Kieffer was bogey free in his 67, picking up shots on the sixth, tenth, 11th, 13th and 17th, while Westwood made four birdies and a two bogeys in a 70.

Australian Scott Hend and Scot Robert MacIntyre were five shots off the lead, one clear of Spaniard Nacho Elvira and Englishman Robert Rock.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KINHULT, MarcusSWE18-16
T2WALLACE, MattENG18-15
T2PEPPERELL, EddieENG18-15
T2MACINTYRE, RobertSCO18-15
5RAMSAY, RichieSCO18-12
T6WARING, PaulENG18-11

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