Golf: Plain sailing for Lane

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BARRY LANE defied gale-force winds to add a one-under-par 70 to his first round of 65 to open up a two-shot lead over Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer and Ignacio Garrido of Spain in the Belgian Open at Knokke yesterday.

Jose Manuel Carriles, the Spaniard who had shared the first round lead with Lane, shot a horrendous 81 to fall back among the also-rans.

Lane lost his lead for a brief period to Garrido, who was six under after 12 holes, when he bogeyed both the eighth and 10th holes. But three birdies in four holes from the 12th sent him ahead again while Garrido dropped a shot at the 13th.

'It was pretty ridiculous out there,' Lane said. 'At some holes you were hitting about 140 yards with a three or four iron. Yet when the wind was in the opposite direction Sandy Lyle got an eagle three when he hit the 550- yard 15th with a drive and a six- iron.'

Montgomerie is well placed to make a strong challenge over the last 36 holes yet, following his second round 70, he said: 'I'm trying to get better but I'm not there yet.'

But he still believes he has a good chance of winning his first major championship at the US Open at Oakmont in two weeks.

'I know that in the Open with a left to right wind I shall struggle. But at the US Open the weather is normally great and you need straight hitting and that is what I am good at.'

BELGIAN OPEN (Knokke-le-Zoute) Early second- round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 135 B Lane 65 70. 137 C Montgomerie 67 70; B Langer (Ger) 69 68; I Garrido (Sp) 67 70. 138 M Clayton (Aus) 68 70; M Roe 69 69. 139 V Singh (Fiji) 69 70. 140 P Walton 73 67; A Murray 69 71; P Curry 69 71. 141 R Wessels (SA) 69 72; M McLean 70 71; N Faldo 67 74; A Sherborne 69 72; J Haeggman (Swe) 73 68. 142 P Hedblom (Swe) 69 73; S McAllister 72 70. 143 G Brand jnr 69 74; M Harwood (Aus) 73 70; T Johnstone (Zim) 73 70; P-U Johansson (Swe) 74 69; A Forsbrand (Swe) 73 70; J Hawkes (SA) 72 71; D Hospital (Sp) 67 76; P McGinley 72 71; O Karlsson (Swe) 69 74; M Gronberg (Swe) 72 71; D Williams 68 75; B Fouchee (SA) 72 71. Selected: 145 I Woosnam 70 75. 146 R Rafferty 74 72; S Lyle 72 74.