Drysdale Takes Over Top Spot in Italy


MILAN, Italy -- David Drysdale matched his career-low round with an 8-under 64 on Friday to take the lead midway through the Italian Open.
Drysdale also nearly equaled Padraig Harrington's record for low-putting round since the European Tour began keeping statistics in 1995, needing just 20 on Friday to fall one short of Harrington's mark of 19 set at the 1997 Heineken Classic.
'It's just such a strange feeling when you are on the green and you just know that they are going to go in,' said Drysdale, who stands at 13-under-par 131 to lead a group of four players by two shots.
Drysdale breezed through his round at Tolcinasco Golf and Country Club, cing nine birdies with just one dropped shot to match the personal best score he established during the second round of the French Open in 2002.
'It feels weird,' Drysdale said. 'I haven't struck the ball particularly well today, but every time I got within 15 feet it seemed to go in.'
Francesco Molinari is the top Italian through two rounds after his 7-under 65 put him at 11-under-par 133. He is tied for second place with Philip Archer (67), Benn Barham (68) and first-round leader Soren Kjeldsen (70).
Leif Westerberg also shot a 65 and is tied for sixth place with Andrew Butterfield (68), Gregory Havret (68) and Alexandre Rocha (66) at 10 under. That group leads seven others knotted one stroke further back in 10th place.
Drysdale was tied for 10th place overt, but began making strides after teeing off on the back nine. He missed an 8-foot birdie putt on his first hole, the par-4 10th, before collecting five birdies over the next seven holes on putts ranging from two feet to 20 feet.
At the par-4 18th, Drysdale pitched in for par to remain at minus-10 around the turn. He then tapped in for birdie at the first, rolled in a 25-foot putt for par at the third, and made 15-footers for birdie at the fourth and sixth holes to get as low as 14 under.
Drysdale stumbled to his only bogey at the par-3 eighth, but it could have been worse. He knocked his tee shot at the 224-yard hole into the water, pitched within 25 feet and made the long putt for his four before finishing off his round with a birdie at the ninth.y putting is usually just so hot an second-round lead for only the second time on the European Tour. 'I three-putted from 12 feet on the 18th last weekend to miss the cut by a stroke and if that had been this week it would have gone in.'
Anthony Wall and Sven Struver fired matching 7-under 65s to reach 9-under-par 135. They are tied for 10th place with Sebastien Fernandez (67), Peter Fowler (67), Jonathan Lomas (68), Louis Oosthuizen (68) and Mark Roe (66).
The cut line fell at 4-under-par 140, with 66 players moving on to the weekend. Among those who failed to make the cut were Angel Cabrera (1-over) and defending champion Steve Webster, who stumbled to a 3-over 75 to end at plus-2.
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