Golf: Woosnam pitches back to share lead

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The Independent Online
Ian Woosnam yesterday wove a piece of magic to regain a share of the lead at the Heineken Classic in Perth, Western Australia. His playing partner, Bernhard Langer, three behind Woosnam at the start of the second round, moved into a four-stroke lead by collecting seven birdies in the space of 12 holes.

Then Woosnam cut the gap to two and on the 525-yard ninth, their closing hole of the day, he pitched into the hole from 60 yards for an eagle three. Langer was at the back of the green in two, but took three more and so they both reached half-way on 135, Woosnam shooting 69 and Langer a 66.

The pair are three clear of Scotland's Andrew Coltart, the Dane Thomas Bjorn and the Australian Craig Parry. Jose Maria Olazabal, second behind Woosnam overnight, and the US Open champion, Ernie Els, could not make the progress they were hoping for when confronted by the "Freemantle Doctor" wind after lunch. Olazabal compiled 72 to remain five under, Els had a 71 and is six back at three under.

Woosnam, winner of the event two years ago, said: "I'd made only one decent putt all day, so that was a great way to finish. Bernhard was holing a lot of good ones, which made it even more frustrating, but you have days like that."

Langer, second to Colin Montgomerie on last year's European Order of Merit after winning four times, was 40 in August, but he said: "I still have great desire and the same hunger." His schedule has been revised, though, because he has made a commitment to his family that he will not be away from them for more than two weeks at a time.