Schwab is bidding for a first European Tour title
Antalya (Turkey) (AFP) - Austria’s Matthias Schwab birdied the final hole to claim a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Turkish Open on Friday, with Justin Rose only two strokes behind in his chase for a third straight title.
World number 104 Schwab is still waiting for a maiden European Tour title despite posting nine top-10 finishes this season.
He started his second round with an eagle and added four birdies on the back nine to round out a five-under-par 67 and reach 12-under for the tournament.
“I think I scored well today, I wasn’t hitting it that well early on but I kept it together,” Schwab said.
“I’ll try and go through the same routines tomorrow morning, and then obviously still a long way to go.”
Schwab leads by one from a group of four players – Ross Fisher, former Masters champion Danny Willett, Belgian Thomas Detry and Ryder Cup winner Alex Noren.
Sweden’s Noren appeared set to take the lead when he reached the par-five 18th on 12-under, but he hit a wayward second shot before three-putting to make an ugly closing bogey.
“If somebody said you get 11-under after two days, I’d take it,” said Noren. “I just have to refocus and not think of what it could have been today, but that’s how it is.”
- Rose in hunt for rare treble -
Rose is one further back after a second successive 67 as the Olympic champion bids to become only the fourth player after Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and Colin Montgomerie to win a regular European Tour event three years in a row.
“I put myself in position. The dream is alive, no doubt,” said the 39-year-old Rose.
“To win a tournament I’ve probably been in worse positions than this.
“Last year I was in way worse shape after two rounds and just got it going on the weekend… If I can build from here, obviously that would be a great place to be.”
The former world number one is among a five-strong group on 10-under, including Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, who fired a stunning 63 which featured nine birdies.
American Patrick Reed also moved into contention with five birdies and an eagle in his 65, and he was matched by Lee Westwood as the veteran Englishman joined him on eight-under.
“It’s definitely something to build on… pretty sure I’d sign for a 65,” said Reed, who was named as a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup by Tiger Woods, who also selected himself, earlier on Friday.
“To be able to go out and get a pick, especially from captain Woods, was amazing.
“To have Tiger as your captain, it’s going to be special. It’s going to be fun.”