Lane lurks after Cink takes lead with career best

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The Independent Online

Four days after being named as one of America's Ryder Cup wild cards, Stewart Cink out-scored playing partner Padraig Harrington by 14 strokes yesterday to lead the NEC Invitational in Akron.

Four days after being named as one of America's Ryder Cup wild cards, Stewart Cink out-scored playing partner Padraig Harrington by 14 strokes yesterday to lead the NEC Invitational in Akron.

While Harrington completed his rain-delayed first round in a seven-over-par 77 - he bogeyed both the par fives and had two double-bogey sixes on his card - Cink equalled the lowest round of his career with a seven-under-par 63.

It gave him a two-shot lead over Zach Johnson, while the leading European in joint third place was England's Barry Lane after a 67.

Lane, 44, who had his first victory for a decade at the British Masters in June, is 17th in Europe's Ryder Cup standings with only next week to come and has given himself a chance of a second cap 11 years after his first.

"If it goes well it goes well - I am very relaxed about things," said Lane.

His only dropped shot was a missed three-foot putt on the ninth hole and after resuming on one under at 7.30am today, he added birdies at the 14th and 17th.

Officials hoped to complete the second round as well yesterday, although the weather forecast was again not good.

Paul McGinley, in the last automatic Ryder Cup place, only shot a three-over-par 73.

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