Gallacher and Bjorn share Swiss lead
BY European Tour | European PGA Tour | 2013 Omega European Masters | Round Two | 07 Sep 2013
Denmark’s Thomas Björn and Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher are each aiming for an Omega double after moving into a share of the halfway lead in the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.
Björn is aiming to be crowned King of the Mountains for a second time in three years following his win at Crans-sur-Sierre in 2011, while Gallacher is chasing a second victory in an Omega-sponsored event in 2013 after triumphing in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February.
The pair are tied on ten under par 132 after Bjorn carded a five under par second round of 66, while Gallacher went one shot lower with a round of 65.
After opening with a birdie on the first, Gallacher picked up further gains on the fifth, seventh, ninth, 12th, 13th and 15th holes, before his only bogey of the day on the 17th.
The 38 year old, who has been struggling with a back problem, lost in a play-off to Tommy Fleetwood on home soil in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles a fortnight ago, before having to retire last week in Wales.
But some intensive treatment appears to have relieved the problem and Gallacher is delighted with his position going into the weekend.
“First place is not bad,” he joked. “I’m happy with that. It gives me something to work on over the weekend.
“The back is ok. It has actually settled down. I’ve had a lot of physio and it seems to have died right down. I just have to keep stretching and I’m keeping the boys in the physio unit busy.
“That was a solid round today. I holed some good putts. I will take another two more of those. I hit the ball really good on the front nine and got my just rewards. I holed a couple of decent putts the back nine too but didn’t play that well. But I’m in there.”
Björn would have held the outright lead after six birdies in 17 holes, but the 13-time European Tour winner dropped a shot on the last when after his ball hit a grandstand. He took a free drop but chipped 12 foot past the hole and missed the par putt.
“It wasn’t the prettiest at the end but I played well today,” he said. “I just kept patient. I told myself not to make any silly bogeys this week, and I made one on the last which was the first one, but those things happen. I’m happy with the way I’m playing and I got myself out of trouble when I needed to and it was steady without being spectacular.”
Englishman Fleetwood is one of five players a shot behind the leading pair after fighting back from a double bogey on the fifth hole, when his ball hit a tree, holing from a bunker for an eagle three on the 14th hole en route to carding a three under par 68.
Also on nine under par is 2010 champion Miguel Angel Jiménez, of Spain, who carded five birdies in six holes on the back nine in his round of 68.
Fleetwood and Jiménez are joined by Englishman Richard Finch (66) Frenchman Victor Dubuisson (65) and a third Englishman Danny Willett, joint runner-up behind Richie Ramsay 12 months ago, who carded the lowest round of the day with a superb 64 that included an eagle on the first hole, his tenth after starting on the back nine.
Former Ryder Cup players Paul Casey (69) and Padraig Harrington (65) are well placed going into the weekend, on eight under par and seven under par respectively.
Brett Rumford leads the Australians in a share of 15th position and four from the lead. Scott Hend is 30th with Marcus Fraser and Kieran Pratt 39
Leading second round scores from the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-sierre (par 71)
132 T Björn (Den) 66 66, S Gallacher (Sco) 67 65,
133 M Jiménez (Esp) 65 68, R Finch (Eng) 67 66, V Dubuisson (Fra) 68 65, D Willett (Eng) 69 64, T Fleetwood (Eng) 65 68,
134 M Tullo (Chi) 68 66, B Koepka (USA) 68 66, A Lahiri (Ind) 63 71, P Casey (Eng) 65 69, A Cañizares (Esp) 69 65,
135 P Harrington (Irl) 70 65, R Sterne (RSA) 69 66,
136 C Lee (Sco) 71 65, B Rumford (Aus) 68 68, J Van Zyl (RSA) 68 68,