Early Bourdy gets the worm as French star stretches lead to four

Five birdies in opening nine holes helps extend lead in Austria

 Michael Hoey tees off on the 12th hole during the second round of the  Lyoness Open at the Diamond Country Club  in Atzenbrugg, Austria. Photo: Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Michael Hoey tees off on the 12th hole during the second round of the Lyoness Open at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, Austria. Photo: Paul Thomas/Getty Images

 

Frenchman Gregory Bourdy believes a “special” opening nine holes laid the foundations for him to extend his lead after the second round of the Lyoness Open in Austria.

Starting the day two ahead the 33-year-old took advantage of his early tee time to increase the pressure on his challengers.

Beginning at the 10th he carded five birdies to turn in 31 at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, although his first bogey of the week at the first halted his momentum briefly before he picked up another stroke at the short sixth to finish with a 67 for a 12-under total.

He stretched his advantage to four as Chris Wood, his nearest challenger on Thursday, could manage only a 69 while fellow Frenchman Gary Stal posted a 68 to move alongside the Bristol golfer on eight under.

“I started very strongly. It is good to play like this after a nice round yesterday,” said Bourdy.

“After the front nine I had a chance to play better than yesterday but unfortunately had a bogey.

“The front nine today was special, five under was very good with some great shots and nice putts.”

Spaniard Carlos Pigem, who in matching Bourdy’s 65 on the opening day recorded the joint-lowest score of his European Tour career, moved to seven under – helped by holing his eight-iron approach to the 12th for eagle – along with compatriot Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who shot 69.

Peter Lawrie is tied for eighth spot on five under after a one-under 71, while Michael Hoey’s three-under 69 on day two left him two under for the tournament. Simon Thornton made the cut on the number at level par after a round of 74 that included a double-bogey six on the seventh hole, his 16th.

Kevin Phelan (75) and Damien McGrane (77) both missed the cut while Gareth Maybin withdrew from the event before the second round.

Home favourite Bernd Wiesberger needed to pick up five shots in his last four holes to make the cut, , and a birdie followed by an eagle at the 16th raised that unlikely prospect after Thursday’s 79 – but he came up two strokes short.

Russian golfer Andrey Pavlov had a nightmare start to his second round after carding a 17 at the par-five first hole having found the water six times.

The 28-year-old, who finished 26 over at this event 12 months ago and is playing his first European Tour event of the year on a tournament invitation, tied the joint-second worst number of strokes on a single hole in European Tour history – joining Chris Gane, who made the same score at Gleneagles in 2003, with only Philippe Porquier’s 20 at the 1978 French Open worse.

He eventually signed for an 18-over 90, having carded a one-under 71 in his opening round, which had given him a chance of making his first-ever cut in 15 attempts on both the European and Challenge Tours.

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