Pair Shares Top Spot in Italian Open

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BRESCIA, Italy -- Fredrik Widmark fired a 7-under 65 on Friday to join Peter O'Malley atop the leaderboard at 10-under-par 134 after two rounds of the Italian Open Telecom Italia. O'Malley, who held the first round lead, carded a 2-under 70 in the second round.
 
Rolf Muntz is alone in third place at 9-under-par 135 after a second-round 66. Steen Tinning matched the course record Friday with an 8-under 64 is tied for fourth place with Gary Clark and Pehr Magnebrant at 8-under-par 136.
 
Widmark dropped well off the pace early in his round as he double-bogeyed the second hole when his tee shot to the par-3 found water. The Swede got rolling with an eagle from 30 feet out at the par-5 fifth. He then holed a wedge from 50 yards out at the par-4 seventh, to move to minus-2 for his round.
 
Around the turn at GardaGolf Country Club, Widmark kept moving forward. He carded back-to-back birdies from the 10th to open his back nine. He went on to birdie the par-4 13th before closing his round with consecutive birdies from the 16th to get to minus-10.
 
O'Malley, who held a two-stroke lead entering the round, struggled mightily in the beginning. He bogeyed each of his first two holes to fall out of the lead. However, he recovered with an eagle at the fifth.
 
'It can be hard to follow a good round with another one,' said O'Malley. 'You really have to get off to a good start which I didn't manage to do.'
 
The Australian picked up back-to-back birdies from the 10th to get back into contention. He notched his final birdie at the par-5 16th. O'Malley dropped a shot at the last to fall into a share of the lead.
 
'You hit a good bit of momentum when you make a few birdies but I lacked a bit of that today,' said O'Malley. 'It wasn't too bad though and tomorrow I will try to play solid. I am still in the lead and I want to stay there.'
 
Muntz birdied the third and fifth to get his round going. Like Widmark, Muntz holed a wedge for eagle with his coming at the par-4 eighth. He faltered with a bogey at the next, but came right back to birdie the 10th.
 
Muntz later birdied the 12th and 16th to get within one stroke of the lead.
 
'I'm in it right now,' said Muntz. 'If I keep up the good work and hole the putts, you never know what could happen.'
 
Colin Montgomerie, Neil Cheetham and Sven Struver each shot 5-under rounds of 67 to share seventh place at 7-under-par 137 with Erol Simsek (69), Mattias Eliasson (69), Ricardo Gonzalez (70) and Jose Manuel Lara (68).
 
Defending champion Ian Poulter rebounded with a 6-under 66 to get to 4- under-par 140. He is among a group eight players tied for 30th.
 
The cut line fell at 1-under-par 143 with Spaniard Seve Ballesteros surviving on the cut line. This is just his second made cut in four attempts this year. He also made the cut at the Madeira Island Open.
 

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