Dredge leads as big names miss cut

Bradley Dredge leads the BMW International Open as Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia crash out at the halfway stage.

Welshman Bradley Dredge leads the BMW International Open in Munich at the halfway stage – and star attractions Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia are already out of the event.
Dredge, still clinging to the hope that he might make the Ryder Cup on home soil in October, grabbed two eagles in a second round 67 which leaves him 13 under par and one ahead of Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal.
But fatigue appeared to catch up with Els, third in the US Open in California on Sunday, when he dropped three late shots and narrowly failed to grab the eagle he needed on the par five last.
Garcia was also at Pebble Beach, but there was far more behind his woeful performance than just jetlag.
Wearing the colours of the Spanish soccer team did nothing for the 30-year-old as his alarming slump continued.
For the first time as a professional Garcia has missed back-to-back cuts on European soil and his nine over 36-hole total after rounds of 77 and 76 was his worst on this side of the Atlantic since the 1999 Open at Carnoustie.
He was dead last there on 30 over after shocking rounds of 89 and 83, but his position on the much, much easier Eichenried course was hardly any better. Only three of 154 players scored higher.
“That’s the way it is – I can’t do anything about it,” said the former world number two, who has already dropped to 36th in the rankings.
Els, who drove into the lake for a six on the 555-yard 11th and bogeyed the 14th and 16th as well, stated: “I just ran out of steam I think.”
In stark contrast, Dredge hit his second to the 11th to 12 feet and on the 481-yard sixth made a 45-footer for his second eagle.
“I think that’s got to be a first for me – three eagles in the first two rounds,” commented the 36-year-old, who also made three on the 11th in his opening 64.
Dredge is down in 29th place in the Ryder Cup race with two more months to come, but said: “I’ve got four big tournaments coming up, so things can change very quickly.
“Now is the time to do it. It’s still mathematically possible and I’ll be trying until it’s not.”
Larrazabal caddied for his brother Alejandro – British amateur champion at the time – in the 2003 Masters, but now the roles are reversed.
Not that the 27-year-old former French Open champion, also donning a red shirt in advance of the World Cup match against Chile, considers himself the star of the family.
“The British Amateur was a major and he’s in the history of the game. I’m not – yet,” said Larrazabal after his second successive 66.
Compatriot Ignacio Garrido matched that score to be in third place on 11 under with Scot Peter Whiteford, while joint fifth a stroke further back are 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie, England’s Kenneth Ferrie, Ireland’s Simon Thornton, Thai Chapchai Nirat, Argentina’s Ariel Canete and Austrian Markus Brier.
Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and world number nine Paul Casey are six under, but Montgomerie is battling with a torn calf muscle and an Achilles tendon problem.
The 47-year-old was able to continue after injections and painkillers, but England’s Ross McGowan, fifth in the Ryder Cup race, pulled out after four holes with a recurrence of the wrist trouble he has had for a month.
Round of the day was a 63 from Stephen Gallacher. It was a 14-shot improvement on his opening effort and on four under he is in good shape to clinch an Open spot along with US Open runner-up Gregory Havret off a current form money list which ends on Sunday.