67 puts Lehman among leaders

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Tom Lehman was another surprise contender at the Open Championship on Friday.

Tom Lehman was another surprise contender at the Open Championship on Friday.

The 52-year-old, who won the Open at Royal Lytham fifteen years ago, shot a superb 67, joint lowest round of the day alongside South African Charl Schwartzel three quarters of the way through, to lie on two under par, only two shots off the lead.

Lehman said his shorter length off the tee might actually be an advantage at Royal St George’s this week.

“Not being able to carry the ball as far actually benefits you in some ways on a lot of these tee shots,” said Lehman.

“The balls that travel so much further in the air tend to land in spots which are a lot more bouncy, a lot more humps and bumps.

“Balls that fly shorter, like mine, tend to land on more the flat spots. That’s one thing I noticed a long time ago playing here in particular.

“Length isn’t really a huge, huge advantage. It’s more about accuracy and the line you take and hitting it where you’re aiming.

“I know my first time playing here I thought I had to be perfect, but you can hit some really square-looking shots and you realise ‘I can play from here’.

“You stop fretting so much about the shots that kind of look goofy. As long as you miss it in the right areas, you can always play.”

Another experienced American, 47-year-old Davis Love III, was tied with Lehman on two under after a 68.

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