Sun, Jul 06, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Darren Clarke, Phillip Price share lead

AP , STRAFFAN, IRELAND

Charl Schwartzel of South Africa watches his drive off the 9th tee during his second round of the European Open at The K Club in Straffan, Ireland, on Friday. He shot a course record of 64 putting him at 8-under-par and near the top of the leader board.

PHOTO: AFP

Ryder Cup players Darren Clarke and Phillip Price capitalized on cool, calm conditions at the K Club to share the lead halfway through the second round of the European Open on Friday while home favorite Padraig Harrington needed a 25-foot birdie putt to make the cut.

Clarke, his putting touch restored after intensive work with English putting guru Harold Swash, shot a four-under-par 68. Price, one of the three first-round leaders, compiled a 69.

On nine-under-par 135 for 36 holes, they led by one from South African teenager Charl Schwartzel, who compiled a week's-best eight-under-par 64, and Scotland's Alistair Forsyth. Forsyth, another who shot 66 Thursday, carded a second round of 70.

Schwartzel's round included a 25-foot putt for eagle at the long 10th, a 30-yard chip-in for birdie at the 15th and two 15-footers for birdies.

But compatriot and former US Open champion Retief Goosen, the third man to open with 66, slipped eight strokes to a 74 and is now five behind.

A trio on 135, two off the lead, includes Andrew Coltart of Scotland and the two oldest players on the Tour, 49-year-old Mark McNulty of Zimbabwe and Eduardo Romero of Argentina, who will be 49 on July 17, the first day of the British Open.

Colin Montgomerie had a dramatic first seven holes comprising a double bogey, two bogeys and four birdies. Then he parred the next 10 holes before a birdie at the last for a 71 left him on 139, four off the lead.

Irish favorite Harrington had problems for the second day but a 25-foot birdie putt from off the green at the last helped him to a second successive 73 and a place in the event for the weekend right on the cutoff mark of 146.

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