Golf: Langer hits the front in style

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The Independent Online
BERNHARD LANGER opened up a three-stroke lead in the Honda Open at Gut Kaden in Hamburg after shooting a 65 to equal the record Roger Chapman had set earlier in the day.

The former US Masters champion, who was the pre-tournament favourite, finished with a 10-under-par aggregate score of 134 after collecting eight birdies.

Chapman had one birdie fewer as he moved through the field to end the day in second place one stroke ahead of the Bill Malley, who had a round of 70, and two in front of Fred Couples, the American Ryder Cup player and US Masters champion.

Although Chapman is in his 11th year on the tour he has yet to win a tournament and this season has proved particularly frustrating with a series of second-place finishes.

The 33-year-old Kent professional, who went out in 33 and came back in 32, said: 'That was one of my best rounds of the year, but I can't explain why.

'It has been one of those frustrating years. I've missed only five cuts, but earned just over pounds 55,000. I feel my game has been good enough to earn about double that amount.

'Every time I have got myself into a good position to pick up a big cheque, I've fallen back and finished between 40th and 50th. I've got to the stage when I've almost been waiting for it to happen.'

Gordon J Brand, the former Ryder Cup player, showed a welcome return to form after major back surgery last year with a 70. But the former Open champion, Sandy Lyle, made a hasty exit after rounds of 78 and 73, while Payne Stewart was only one stroke better with matching 75s.

It was a disastrous day for the overnight leader Russell Claydon. He finished nine strokes behind Langer after shooting a 77.

HONDA OPEN (Hamburg) Leading second- round scores and qualifiers for third round (GB and Irl unless stated): 134 B Langer (Ger) 69 65. 137 R Chapman 72 65. 138 B Malley (US) 68 70. 139 F Couples (US) 69 70; G J Brand 70 69. 140 D Clarke 71 69; P Mitchell 70 70. 141 I Palmer (SA) 72 69; P Fowler (Aus) 69 72; M Roe 70 71; E Els (SA) 71 70. 142 J Parnevik (Swe) 71 71; W Westndr (SA) 72 70; J Rystrom (Swe) 71 71; P Broadhurst 73 69; J Quiros (Sp) 71 71. 143 Y Kuramoto (Jap) 70 73; G Ralph 71 72; P Smith 72 71; M Pinero (Sp) 73 70; J Metcalfe 73 70; R Hartmann (US) 71 72; S McAllister 73 70; M Hallberg (Swe) 71 72; G Brand Jnr 72 71. 144 P Curry 70 74; D Mijovic (Can) 72 72; A Murray 73 71; R Boxall 72 72; P Lonard (Aus) 73 71; D Gilford 74 70; J McHenry 73 71; J Robinson 70 74; H P Thuel (Ger) 72 72; M Lanner (Swe) 74 70; M McLean 77 67; G Turner 74 70. 145 A Hare 74 71; T Charnley 72 73; C Mason 72 73; R Gonzalez (Arg) 71 74; L Tinkler (Aus) 71 74; R Claydon 68 77; M Poxon 71 74; M James 75 70; P O'Malley (Aus) 79 66; P Way 72 73; G Evans 72 73; C Williams 75 70. 146 J Payne 74 72; S Torrance 71 75; E O'Connell 72 74; T Geogele (Ger) 74 72; J Haeggman (Swe) 75 71; E Darcy 73 73; S Struever (Ger) 74 72; C Platts 73 73; J Heggarty 72 74; T Levet (Fr) 70 76; S Tinning (Den) 76 70; K Waters 75 71. 147 B Marchbank 77 70; M McNulty (Zim) 72 75; N Briggs 74 73; A Cejka (Ger) 73 74; J Rutledge (Can) 74 73; A Sherborne 74 73; D Silva (Por) 78 69; J van de Velde (Fr) 74 73; M Allen (US) 73 74; P McGinley 75 72; S Little 76 71; A Mednick (Swe) 74 73; S Bowman 76 71; A Binaghi (It) 71 76.

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