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Lightning Boult

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The Italian Open is the final full-field event of the season on the European Tour - the final chance for players to earn their 2001 playing privileges.
 
Elliot Boult is one of the players battling for his professional livelihood this week in Sardinia, Italy, and through two rounds he performing quite well.
 
Boult shares the 36-hole lead with Richard Green at 12-under-par. Seven players are one shot back at 11-under, including overnight co-leaders Van Phillips and Eamonn Darcy.
 
Boult, a 34-year-old Kiwi, is 157th on the Volvo Order of Merit. The top 115 at year's end earn their 2001 Tour cards. That means Boult needs to finish in the top two at Is Molas to extend his playing rights for nest season.
 
Friday, Boult shot his second consecutive round of 6-under-par 66 to grab a share of the lead for the first time in his rookie season on the European Tour.
 
'This has put me in a great position,' said Boult, who missed nine straight cuts entering this week. 'I've just got to go out there and do the same as what I have been doing. I don't think I can put a number on it, but if I walked off with 20-under I would be happy.
 
'But come Sunday if I am in the same position I think I will be a bit nervous.'
 
Green doesn't have to worry about where he's going to play in 2001. At 72nd on the Order of Merit, his card is secure, but a spot in next week's Volvo Masters is not. The top 55 in earnings at the conclusion of this week's event gain entrance into the elite field.
 
'I just want to win again,' said Green, whose first and only European Tour victory came at the 1997 Dubai Desert Classic. 'There's the Volvo Masters next week, but I want to win again. Winning will take care of that.'
 
The left-hander Australian followed up an opening-round 67 with a Friday 65 to put himself in position for his second-career European title.
 
Thursday, four players shot 65 to set the Is Molas course record. Friday, Spaniard Francisco Cea broke that mark by firing a 9-under-par 63. At 11-under for the tournament, Cea is tied for third with Phillips, Darcy, Peter Baker, Roger Wessels, Ricardo Gonzalez and Ian Poulter.
 
Poulter is trying to overtake Scotland's Alastair Forsyth, who missed the cut this week, for the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award. Poulter is also trying to earn a spot in the Volvo Masters. He currently stands right on the qualifying number in 55th position.
 

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