Swedes lead the way at Russian Open
Former winner Mikael Lundberg and fellow Swede Jarmo Sandelin both shot an eight-under-par 64 to share a one-stroke lead after two rounds at the Russian Open on Friday.
Twice major winner John Daly, nursing a wrist injury, missed the cut by one stroke after carding a one-over 73 to finish on 143.
Lundberg eagled the par-five second hole and shot eight birdies for a total of 131 and Sandelin, after bogeying the first hole, was perfect the rest of the way making nine birdies.
Lundberg was brimming with confidence after winning his maiden European Tour title here three years ago.
“This is my course, just for me. I feel that I don’t have to beat anyone around here—they have to beat me,” said the 34-year-old from Helsingborg, who returned to the main tour this year after finishing ninth on the 2007 Challenge Tour.
“I think I actually played a bit better from tee to green yesterday but I got more out of it today. I holed a nice chip on the second for eagle, then dropped two shots on the third and fourth to make bogeys, then came back with birdies on six and eight and then on the back nine it was just really steady.”
Former Ryder Cup player Sandelin, 41, was also pleased with his outing: “My club selections were good and I didn’t have to worry too much.”
Britain’s Robert Rock was in third place on 132 after also carding a 64 on Friday.
“I was just really steady. I hit some close iron shots and rolled in a few short putts and then made an eagle on the fifth,” said the 31-year-old Englishman, chasing his first tour title.
Rock’s compatriot, promising 20-year-old Danny Willett, last year’s English amateur champion, stayed in contention but dropped four strokes back after a double bogey on the last hole.
Last year’s winner Per-Ulrik Johansson of Sweden finished tied for 14th, another two strokes back on 137.
Fellow Swede Joakim Backstrom, Finn Roope Kakko and Briton David Carter, who were in a four-way lead with another Swede Fredrik Henge at seven under after the opening round on Thursday, dropped into a tie for 24th on 138.
Henge fared even worse, just making the cut with four bogeys and a double bogey on the second for a total of 142.
Weather conditions stayed perfect with glorious sunshine and almost no wind for the second day in a row at the Moscow Country Club in suburban Nakhabino.
Former world tennis number one Yevgeny Kafelnikov, playing in his second Russian Open after making his European Tour debut in 2005, finished second last on 25-over 169. National Hockey League All-Star Alexei Kovalev, who like Kafelnikov was invited to take part by the organisers, ended on 184.