Englands Parry holds Austrian Open lead at halfway point


European Tour

ATZENBRUGG, Austria – English newcomer John Parry shot a 5-under 67 to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the Austrian Open.

The 23-year-old graduate of the European Challenge Tour in 2009 produced a bogey-free second round at the Diamond Country Club that took him to 8 under. Parry has not led on the European Tour since February, when he shot two straight 67s at the Avantha Masters and finished 26th.

Parry is 117th on the money list and a top-10 finish will earn him his 2011 tour card.

“I hit 17 greens in regulation,” Parry said. “And hit the ball really solid. And if I can keep it going like that I should be there or there abouts on Sunday night.”

The chasing pack includes European Ryder Cup player Graeme McDowell, who shot a 68 for a share of second place alongside Sweden’s Pelle Edberg and Jose Manuel Lara of Spain.

McDowell, who returned to competition after five weeks off following his victory at the U.S. Open, opened the tournament with a 69.

“The rust has gone. It took me approximately eight holes on the first day to shake it off,” he said. “I was more solid and it’s nice to be in contention again going into the weekend.”

Miguel Angel Jimenez, the other Ryder Cup player in the field, was at 3 under.

Goerge Coetzee, who had a one-shot lead after his first-round 65, threatened to break away from the field. A run of four straight birdies beginning at the seventh took him three clear of his nearest rivals before the 24-year-old Pretoria native encountered a rough patch.

A double bogey at 12 was followed four holes later by a quadruple bogey 8 – he found the water twice – and he plummeted down the leaderboard. After a visit to another lake in front of the 17th green, Coetzee shot a 4-over 76 to finish at 3 under for the tournament.