Green Fires 63 Leads by Three


2004 KLM OpenHILVERSUM, Netherlands -- Richard Green fired a 7-under 63 on Friday to take the lead after two rounds of the KLM Open. He stands at 12-under-par 128, one off the 36-hole record, and leads by three over Andrew Raitt.
Overnight leader David Lynn posted an even-par 70 in the second round and is tied for third place with Per Nyman (67) and Miles Tunnicliff (66). The trio is knotted at 7-under-par 133 at Hilversumsche Golf Club.
Green, a lefthander, opened with three birdies in his first five holes. He ran off back-to-back birdies from the seventh to make the turn at 5-under-par 30.
Green, an Australian, stumbled to a bogey at the 11th, but rebounded with a birdie at the par-5 12th, his second in as many days at the 485-yard hole. He birdied the 15th to go to minus-11, two clear of Raitt, who was already in the clubhouse.
He birdied the par-5 18th for the second time to move three clear of his closest competitor.
'It is a position I have not been in before, leading by a long way,' said Green. 'You want to lead on Sunday. The main objective is to make sure I am in the same position on Sunday and bring home that second title.'
Green's only victory on the European Tour came at the 1997 Dubai Desert Classic. He tallied back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Open de France and European Open, which puts him 16th on the Order of Merit.
He missed Tobias Dier's 36-hole record at this event by a single stroke. Dier posted a 127 total in 2002, en route to the 54-hole record and the tournament mark.
Raitt was 1 over at the turn with a pair of bogeys and one birdie, but birdied 12 and 13 to move to 1 under on his round. He squandered short birdie tries at 15, 16 and 17, but atoned for the missed putts at the closing hole.
Raitt sank a 35-foot eagle putt at No. 18 to polish off a 3-under 67.
'Today was a bit of a struggle,' said Raitt. 'I didn't play that well and made a really good putt on the 10th for par when I was having a dodgy patch. I missed chances at the 15th, 16th, and 17th, from only about 5 feet so I was pleased to see the one drop on the last.'
Raitt is leaving the European Tour after this season. He lost part of his left pinky finger after a dog bit it off in 1995 and faces huge legal bills from an unsuccessful law suit. He will be starting The 15th Club Company with several partners.
Ryder Cup hopefuls Ian Poulter (67) and Paul McGinley (69) are tied for sixth place at minus-6. Gordon Brand, Jr. shot a 3-under 67 and is alone in ninth at 5-under-par 135.
Andrew Coltart (68), Graeme McDowell (67), Steven O'Hara (67), Mark Roe (67), Stephen Scahill (71) and Martin Wiegele (71) are knotted in 10th place at 4-under-par 136.
The 36-hole cut came at 2-over-par 142 and 80 players made it to the weekend. Among those who failed to advance were: defending champion Maarten Lafeber (143), Dier (143) and Sandy Lyle (144).
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