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Eagles lift Bradley Dredge clear

Ryder Cup aspirant Bradley Dredge led the BMW International Open after two eagles helped him shoot a five-under-par 67 in Friday’s second round.

While the 36-year-old Briton was flying high, Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia were down in the dumps after missing the cut.

Dredge surged to a 13-under total of 131, one ahead of Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal (66).

Ignacio Garrido (66) of Spain and Dredge’s first round co-leader Peter Whiteford of Britain (69) were on 133.

Dredge is desperate to pick up the 333,330 Ryder Cup points on offer for first place at Eichenried on Sunday night.

As a Welshman, a place in Colin Montgomerie’s European team to meet the United States on home soil at Celtic Manor in October would be “a dream come true” for Dredge.

The twice tour winner has his work cut out though, as he occupies a lowly 29th place in the Ryder Cup European points table.

“I’m a long way back so obviously the first job is to win this weekend,” Dredge told reporters. “Then I might need another big win in the next four events or some really good finishes.

“But it’s still possible and until it’s mathematically impossible I’ll not be scratching it off my ‘to-do’ list.”

Larrazabal has struggled to recapture the form that won him the 2008 French Open but a second successive 66 put him in title contention.

His brother Alex, the 2002 British Amateur champion, is caddying for him here.

“We are working together for three big weeks,” said Larrazabal. “Maybe I can win all three. He wants to go to the Ryder Cup too.”

While Larrazabal and Garrido excelled, compatriot Garcia’s woes continued as he missed the cut by 12 shots after following an opening 77 with a 76.

“I can’t do anything about it,” said a dejected Garcia whose Ryder Cup qualifying hopes are fading fast.

World number six Els, the highest ranked player in the field, narrowly missed an eagle putt at the last hole and also failed to make the weekend after a 72 for 142.

Montgomerie was seven strokes off the pace after a 68 but said a torn calf muscle could jeopardise his appearance in next month’s British Open at St Andrews.

“I’ve no idea how I did it but the muscle has torn, the pain is all through my back and it’s also affecting my Achilles tendon,” he said.



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