Langer plays through the pain barrier

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Bernhard Langer defied a sore throat and a cold to produce a superb six-under-par 66 and take a four-shot lead at the Deutsche Bank Open in Hamburg yesterday.

Kent's Jamie Spence lies second on 137 after a 69, with Sam Torrance (67) and Italy's Costantino Rocca (70) both on 138. Ian Woosnam, having missed three successive cuts, was safe on 146 after a 72.

The hard-luck story of the day belonged to Peter Baker, who, after bogeying two consecutive holes, threw his putter back towards his bag. However, the putter hit the hard edge of the bag and bent in the middle of the shaft, making it illegal. Baker then had to putt with a sand wedge at the 15th and then with a three-iron over the last three, but still finished on 143.