Stenson and Coetzee lead at halfway

6/24/2011 6:19:25 PM
George Coetzee  (Getty Images)
George Coetzee (Getty Images)

Sweden's Henrik Stenson and South African George Coetzee share the lead at the halfway stage of the BMW International Open in Munich.

But they arrived on ten under par by very different routes. Stenson bogeyed his last two holes for a 70, while Coetzee birdied two of his last three for a second successive 67.

"It's never fun to finish with two bogeys, but you gain some, you lose some - sometimes that's the way it is," said Stenson.

The former World Number Four, now 124th on the Official World Golf Ranking after more than two years without a win, had been three clear of the field when he followed a chip-in at the eagle on the long sixth with a tap-in birdie at the 441 yard next.

"I'm in a good position and I'm feeling very good," he added. "I had to fight a little bit early on, but I managed to stay patient."

Coetzee has yet to taste victory on The European Tour and has yet to play in a Major Championship, but that will change in three weeks - he earned a place in The Open Championship at the sixth hole of a play-off earlier this month.

The 24 year old from Pretoria is a four-time winner on the Sunshine Tour and stated: "I believe I can win every single event there and the more I get in contention in Europe the more I will believe I should be up there."

One shot back in third place is Spain's Pablo Larrazabal - the player Coetzee beat in near-darkness at The Open Championship qualifier.

He could still make it to Sandwich with a top two finish this weekend, however, and commented: "I really want to play, so I am just going to go for it."

Larrazabal is also looking to make amends for what happened at this tournament a year ago.

He led with three holes to play, but double-bogeyed the 16th, bogeyed the 17th and lost by two to England's David Horsey.

On his return to the 16th today he spun his approach into the cup for an eagle two.

"It's given me confidence - I'm not scared of that hole," he added.

His compatriot Sergio Garcia, not in The Open Championship yet either, is six strokes back after a 71, but World Number Three and local hero Martin Kaymer moved to six under with a 68.

Austria's Markus Brier, Welshman Bradley Dredge, Dutchman Tim Sluiter and English duo Simon Khan and Mark Foster share fourth place on eight under.

The cut fell at two under, so Colin Montgomerie made it with nothing to spare the day after his 48th birthday, but Paul Casey's closing eagle was of no use - he still missed by three after a 73.