Jimenez and Larrazabal lead KLM Open
BY European Tour | European PGA Tour | 2013 KLM Open | Round Two | 14 Sep 2013
Friends and fellow Spaniards Miguel Angel Jiménez and Pablo Larrazábal will take a one-shot lead into the weekend of the KLM Open, where they will hope to follow in the footsteps of Seve Ballesteros and Jose María Olazábal by winning at Kennemer Golf and Country Club.
Jiménez and Larrazábal, who are separated by some 19 years but share a similar sense of humour and love of life, often play practice rounds together, but will go head to head in a more competitive environment over the weekend in the seaside resort of Zandvoort.
Ballesteros’ first European Tour title came at Kennemer G&CC, in the 1976 KLM Open, and it was also the scene of Olazábal’s dramatic victory 13 years later, when the Spaniard eventually prevailed after a nine-hole play-off played in treacherous conditions.
Both Jiménez and Larrázabal will bid to mimic their illustrious compatriots after taking their tallies to nine under par with respective rounds of 66 and 67.
The duo might have opened up a sizeable lead on the chasing pack had they not endured frustrating days on the greens, with Larrazábal in particular bemoaning his putting performance.
He said: “I’m hitting the ball as well as ever. I missed a lot of putts, especially on the back nine, but they didn’t drop. The conditions were tough this afternoon, it was raining non-stop, so to shoot a 66 was very pleasing.
“From tee to green, I couldn’t have played any better – I only missed two shots all day. To make only two bogeys in two days is very pleasing, especially in those conditions, but to win this tournament I’m going to have to putt a lot better than I did today.”
Jiménez also pointed to a cold putter for his failure to match his opening round of 64, but the 49 year old was nonetheless content to see his name at the top of the leaderboard.
He said: “I played OK on my front nine, quite solid. But on my back nine I played very well, made a lot of good birdie chances and should have taken a few more. If my putter was working well I could have easily shot six under par again. But I have to be happy with three birdies and no bogeys, and my position on the leaderboard.”
Second place is currently shared by the English duo of Simon Dyson (63) and Oliver Fisher (65) and Frenchman Julien Quesne (65), who all climbed to eight under par.
Dyson is aiming to claim a record fourth KLM Open title, whilst Fisher – celebrating his 25th birthday – is in need of a big week as he bids to retain his playing privileges on The European Tour.
Robert Allenby who has applied for career money earnings status on the PGA Tour in 2014 is well enough placed in an event he has not played for 19 years, the Victorian leading the Australians in 20th position and five shots from the lead.
Scores after round 2:
131 P Larrazábal (Esp) 65 66, M Jiménez (Esp) 64 67,
132 O Fisher (Eng) 67 65, J Quesne (Fra) 67 65, S Dyson (Eng) 69 63,
133 D Drysdale (Sco) 69 64,
134 J Campillo (Esp) 71 63, A Snobeck (Fra) 68 66, J Luiten (Ned) 69 65, M Nixon (Eng) 69 65,
135 D McGrane (Irl) 65 70, P McGinley (Irl) 68 67, S Wakefield (Eng) 68 67, M Jonzon (Swe) 70 65, G Orr (Sco) 65 70, E Kofstad (Nor) 69 66, D Howell (Eng) 65 70, H Otto (RSA) 68 67, S Kjeldsen (Den) 68 67,
136 R Allenby (Aus) 65 71, C Paisley (Eng) 68 68, R Green (Aus) 70 66, R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 69 67, A Marshall (Eng) 69 67, B Koepka (USA) 70 66, T Aiken (RSA) 72 64, A Quiros (Esp) 72 64,