The 31-year-old native of the Czeck Repulic shot 2-under 70 Saturday in Heidelberg to share top honors with Colin Montgomerie (68) through two rounds of the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open TPC of Europe. The event will conclude Monday, a European holiday.
Cejka and Montgomerie are tied at 10-under-par 134. Darren Clarke (68), Australian Richard Green (67) and Welshmen Ian Woosnam (67) and Mark Pilkington (64) are all one back. Defending champion Tiger Woods heads up a group two back, along with Englishmen Justin Rose (65) and Greg Owen (68).
Woods, who is trying to become the first player in tournament history to repeat as champion, fired a 67 on Day 2. His round included seven birdies and a double bogey at the par-4 second.
Today could have been pretty low, Woods said. I didnt get off to a great start but I got it back and hit a lot of great shots and made some putts. I just didnt make enough on the back nine. If they had fallen in, I would have been really low today.
Last year, the worlds No. 1 entered the final 36 holes six off the lead, but shot a third-round 63 at St. Leon-Rot to bolt into contention.
Montgomerie is going for a German Grand Slam, of sorts. Ive won the Linde German Masters, the German Open and the BMW International Open in Munich, he explained.
Although I won the TPC before it was played in Portugal so I would like to add this one to my list and win all four titles in Germany and go one better than Bernhard Langer, who has won all but the BMW International Open.
The 38-year-old Scot, who won this event in 1988, is finally feeling comfortable with his belly putter. He used the elongated flatstick to roll home a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th following a brilliant 5-wood approach shot.
Montgomerie has won on the European Tour each of the last nine years, but is still in search of victory No. 1 this season. Hes getting closer; he has led or shared the lead in each of his last three tournaments.
It was disappointing to lose the Benson and Hedges International Open. I only needed to shoot 5-under at the weekend to win and I shot 2-under and finished third, said Montgomerie, who is taking twice-daily painkillers for an ailing back. This week I will have to do better. The standard is good and I am sure Tiger will be right there for the weekend.
Cejkas drought extends to 1995, when he won three times on tour. He shared the lead through 54 holes of last years British Open, but faltered with a Sunday 73 and finished tied for 13th. This week, however, he feels ready for the challenge.
I came here for my practice round and thought it was very tight and it didnt look like being my kind of course, he said. But Ive played solidly and I am very pleased. All the names are bunching up. Two rounds to go and Im happy to be in this position.
Clarke, like Montgomerie, is battling an injury this week. The burly Northern Irishman tore a muscle in his right thigh while fishing Monday. Yet, hes shown no signs of pain while continuing to rise up the leaderboard.
Theyve done a fantastic job he said. There is no way I would have been able to play on Wednesday. In the circumstances I am delighted to be on nine under. The physios advised me yesterday that if I felt any twinge at all then I should contemplate pulling out. Fortunately there is no pain when I swing. I just find it hard to crouch and line up putts.
Full-field scores from the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open