Warren edges ahead of Whiteford

2/18/2012 7:09:50 AM
Marc Warren   (Getty Images)
Marc Warren (Getty Images)
Marc Warren turned in a five under par 31 to displace compatriot Peter Whiteford at the top of the Avantha Masters leaderboard.

Scot Whiteford led by two overnight on ten under par, and extended his advantage with a 15 foot birdie putt at the first.

However, he needed four shots to find the green at the 486 yard fifth, and having chipped to three feet missed his bogey putt to drop to nine under par.

Warren birdied the first and sixth, struck his tee shot to tap-in range at the par three seventh and then holed a 25 footer to move to ten under.

Spain’s José Manuel Lara had also caught Whiteford with a stunning round at DLF Golf & Country Club.

The 34 year old started the day nine off the lead, but after a bogey at the third recorded nine birdies in 14 holes to be eight under for the day with one to play.

Argentina’s Tano Goya, France’s Gregory Havret and South African Jbe Kruger – who eagled the sixth from 20 feet – were all on eight under and well in contention.

Goya, 13th in Dubai last week, matched the best-of-the-week 64 set by Prom Meesawat on Friday and was delighted to have put himself in contention.

“It was a very good round,” said the former Madeira Islands Open winner. “I played unbelievable golf. 

“I think I hit every green and made a few good putts, and I had two good shots from off the green which went in the hole - on the 18th and the first. I was solid off the tee, my irons were good and my putting was excellent, so I’m very happy. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.” 

Lara could not find a birdie at the par five last, but matched Goya’s 64 to set the clubhouse target at nine under, one behind Warren and also Whiteford, as the 31 year old birdied the long sixth to return to ten under.

“I didn’t start very well with a bogey at the third, so I just tried something different and played more aggressively and it worked,” said two-time European Tour winner Lara.

“I played very well from tee to green and my putter was very good today. 

“I had five birdies on the back nine so I was very happy with that. And to have nine birdies from the fourth to the 18th is very pleasing, but the main thing was that my putting was really good. 

“The last two days I’ve been struggling a little bit, but today was much better. I think maybe they have cut the greens a bit shorter today so the grain is less of an issue. It’s also a bit warmer today, but there are some tight pins out there so it is surprising that the scoring is so good.”