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Sunday 19 August 2018

Lawrie's far from lonely at the top

Six players start the weekend tied for the lead at the Sicilian Open after an extremely tight second round at the Verdura Golf & Spa Resort.

David Lynn, Jamie Donaldson, Pelle Edberg, Maarten Lafeber, Simon Wakefield and overnight leader Peter Lawrie all sit on eight under par, with another seven players one shot adrift.

Swede Edberg was the biggest mover this morning, carding a six-under-par round of 66, but it was a disappointing day for Irishman Lawrie, who had posted a brilliant 64 on Thursday, but had to settle for a level-par round today.

In contrast, Edberg managed six birdies and an eagle, while Englishman Wakefield also impressed with a 67 and Holland's Lafeber recorded a 68.

The sextet have only three European Tour titles between them courtesy of Lynn, Lafeber and Lawrie, who was the most recent champion in Spain in 2008.

Wakefield said: "It was just one of those days when everything went right.

"I hit every shot I wanted to hit and managed to hole my fair share of putts, so I'm delighted.

"The company's been great, the weather's perfect and there aren't many more scenic places like this to play golf, so I've really enjoyed myself.

"It makes you feel a bit more relaxed, and I play my best golf when I am relaxed."

Lafeber, who had to go back to qualifying school last year after finishing 149th in the Race to Dubai, picked out Welshman Donaldson, who would have led on his own had he not bogeyed his final hole, as the man to watch.



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"Last year, my long game was horrible -- I was hitting it all over the place," said the Dutchman.

"So I'm happy to be back playing well again.

"It's looking pretty bunched at the moment. Jamie Donaldson is playing very well, and there's some good players up there so it won't be easy.

"It's important for me to get off to a good start, and hopefully I can take more of the chances which come my way over the weekend."

Among the players on seven under is Dane Soren Kjeldsen, who was one of the joint leaders for much of yesterday but bogeyed the 17th for a level-par round, while Ireland's Shane Lowry is also one behind following a 70.

Former Open champion John Daly had picked up seven shots in 14 holes to move to eight under, only to bogey the 16th and 18th and drop back into a 12-strong group on six under, which also includes England's Chris Wood.

It was not such a good day for Italian teenager Matteo Manassero, who went into the tournament in 12th place in the Race to Dubai but missed the cut after a second successive 72.

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