Hanson charges to outright lead

8/20/2010 12:06:55 PM
 Peter Hanson  (Getty Images)
Peter Hanson (Getty Images)

Peter Hanson continued his charge towards an automatic Ryder Cup spot by claiming the outright lead in the Czech Open after carding two under par in his second round to move to seven under overall.

Hanson requested an invite from the promoters to play at the Prosper Golf Resort in Čeladná as he looks to cement a place in Colin Montgomorie's European team.

With the players starting their rounds on the tenth, the Swede made a great start by birdying the 11th.

However, a bogey followed on the 12th to halt his progress before he moved back into the lead with a birdie on the 16th.

Another bogey on the 16th brought him back to par for the day, but he responded with a birdie on the 18th to move to six under par.

He then played solidly on his back nine, collecting eight pars and a birdie to move clear of the chasing pack.

Hanson was pleased with his performance, although he believes was not at his very best.

“It was a good day,” he said. “I struck it well again but didn't make as many putts. I had a couple of chances coming in but it was a good day.

“I feel good about my game - I feel my form is getting better and better. I'm driving okay and hit my irons shots very nicely. It is all about making those putts.

“I felt I could go low today and had a lot of opportunities on our front nine. I probably left four or five shots out there.”

Fellow countryman Fredrik Andersson Hed, along with Clodomiro Carranza and Shiv Kapur are breathing down his neck, though.

The former, whose only win on The European Tour came at this year’s BMW Italian Open, enjoyed a brilliant start to his round, birdying the tenth before moving into the lead with consecutive birdies on 16, 17 and 18.

His back nine was not so fruitful, although his birdie on the par five seventh cancelled out a bogie on four as he finished six under.

Andersson Hed does not believe he was at his best, but is hoping to build on the good position he finds himself in.

“I didn't play great but the short game was fantastic,” he admitted. “I had ten putts on my front nine and got to four under and played more solid on the back nine. It felt pretty good getting that run of birdies.

“I've not put any pressure or expectation on myself. I'm in a good position and hopefully I can get it going on the weekend.”

Carranza, meanwhile, will be thankful for an excellent performance on his back nine which put right into contention.

The Argentinian, who double bogeyed his final hole yesterday, started poorly with bogeys on the 10th and 13th, but he followed up a birdie on the 16th with an excellent eagle on the first.

And his best was yet to come as he produced a sensational approach shot on the par three third to claim another birdie and move to five under after 13.

One more birdie followed, on the par four seventh, as he overcame yesterday’s disappointing finish to end one shot adrift.

Carranza was delighted with his consistency levels, admitting he loves being a part of The European Tour.

“I played very well - very consistently,” he said. “The course is very difficult and the greens are very fast with hills. It's a good course.

“On the first hole, my tenth, I hit a driver into the middle of the fairway and a three wood to two metres. I holed for an eagle yesterday too with a lob wedge. 

“This is the best I've played on The European Tour. It's my first year and my best performance so far. I love it on The European Tour. It's great having so many Argentineans on it.”

Kapur remains Hanson’s biggest threat, though, given he has only played two holes of his second round so far, both of which he has shot par on.

The Indian was in scintillating form yesterday, striking a six under par 66 to claim the outright lead.