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Henrik Stenson leads despite late bogies
June 25, 2011

A disappointing finish denied former world number four Henrik Stenson the outright lead after the BMW International Open second round on Friday.

However, the reinvigorated Swede was still in contention for his first victory for more than two years after sharing top spot at Eichenried with surprise package George Coetzee of South Africa.

Bogeys at the last two holes meant Stenson had to be content with a two-under-par 70 for a 10-under total of 134 while Coetzee fired his second 67 of the week.

The pair were one in front of Pablo Larrazabal who shot a 67 that included an eagle-two at the 16th after the Spaniard holed his approach shot.

World number three Martin Kaymer reeled off four successive birdies around the turn as a 68 pushed him within four strokes of the leaders.

Stenson, who has slumped to 124th in the world after failing to record a victory since the 2009 Players Championship in Florida, is battling to recover his best form.

After surging ahead with a first-round 64 he looked as though he might keep the lead to himself when he chipped in for an eagle three at the sixth hole (his 15th) and produced a sublime pitch to within inches of the cup for a birdie at the next.

Stenson then came unstuck with two wayward approaches at the par-three eighth and par-five ninth.

“I think I’m playing good enough to win this tournament and other tournaments,” he told reporters.

Stenson was asked if he was playing well enough to have a realistic chance of winning a major championship, having contended strongly early in last week’s U.S. Open.

“Let’s try and have a good weekend here first and then we have the British Open coming up (next month) and if I can keep on building on this progress, hopefully I can give myself some chances to win majors,” he added.

Coetzee, yet to win a European Tour title, lies 193rd in the world rankings but has been inspired by the achievements of compatriots and major champions Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.

“They came from the Sunshine Tour (in South Africa) like me and we all want to follow in their footsteps,” he said of British Open champion Oosthuizen and U.S. Masters winner Schwartzel.

Britons Simon Khan, Bradley Dredge and Mark Foster, Austrian Markus Brier and Dutchman Tim Sluiter shared fourth place, two shots off the lead.

Scores

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