Golf: Woosnam adds iron to diet

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The Independent Online
IAN WOOSNAM kept his driver in his bag for all but three holes as he marched into the halfway lead at the Volvo German Open in Dusseldorf yesterday with a seven- birdie, best-of-the-day 65.

With a 12-under-par total of 132, Woosnam leads by two from Berkshire's Barry Lane, who added a 70 to his course-record- equalling 64, the Fijian, Vijay Singh (68), and the South African, Gavin Levenson (66).

A week after scoring 80 and missing the cut in the US PGA championship the Welshman has found the Hubbelrath course much more to his liking.

'I'm still struggling with my driver, but I'm hitting my one-iron plenty far enough and putting quite well,' he said. 'You can spread the ball around more here. Last week I was really out of form after taking three weeks off. In my heart I didn't think I was going to play well - the PGA is not one of my favourite events.'

Resuming on five-under, three behind Lane, Woosnam immediately holed a 12-footer; but when he took out his driver on the long 12th it almost landed him in some trouble. The ball was heading for a ditch until it clipped a tree and came down beside it. Woosnam still had to chop out, but a seven- iron to eight feet gave him a birdie.

Another came with a pitch to five feet on the 572-yard 17th and Woosnam finished with four in six holes, sinking putts of 12, 18 and 10 feet and smashing a two-iron to three feet at the 209-yard seventh. On his driving, he said: 'I'm used to drawing the ball, but now I've got this push-slice and I don't know how to cure it.

'When I do, though, I will have another text in my book. I feel I am going to play better and better. The best, I hope, is yet to come.'

Lane gave himself just as many birdie chances as he had on the opening day, but after holing only four of them as against eight, he said: 'I'm still pleased - I played lovely. I didn't putt badly. It was just that I was not on the right side of the hole all the time and left myself some tricky ones.

'Woosie is a class player, but he does not intimidate me,' Lane added. 'I've played with him loads of times and played well.'