Coles charges to the top in Austria

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Robert Coles and Joost Luiten were tied for the early clubhouse lead at 7-under at the Austrian Open at lunch time on Friday.

England’s Robert Coles and Joost Luiten of the Netherlands were tied for the early clubhouse lead on 7-under at the Austrian Open at lunch time on Friday.

Luiten shot a second-day 2-under 70 at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg to get to the top of the leaderboard, but Coles, having to play catch-up after an opening 72, had to fire a blistering 7-under 65 to get there.

Coles, 39, followed up his shaky Thursday level-par score with a flawless second round in which he picked up seven birdies.

Luiten, who was a shot off the pace overnight following a 67, was also at seven under overall at the halfway stage after his 70 – a double-bogey six on the seventh and another dropped shot on 12 spoiling his round today.

Emanuele Canonica was a shot off the pace with four holes remaining of his second round, the Italian having carded eight birdies over his first 14 holes but then having lost ground with bogeys on the 11th and 13th holes.

Australian Daniel Gaunt and Austrian amateur Matthias Schwab were five under and tied for fourth, the former in the clubhouse after a 72 and the latter five under for the day through 16.

Overnight leader Liam Bond of Wales followed up yesterday’s 66 with a disappointing 74 to slip to joint fifth along with Denmark’s Thomas Norret, who was one over after four holes today.

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