Siem top as Westwood flops

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Marcel Siem shot 68 for the second day in a row to claim a one-shot lead over Alexander Noren in the French Open on Friday.

Marcel Siem shot 68 for the second day in a row to claim a one-shot lead over Alexander Noren in the French Open on Friday.

The German, whose only European Tour success to date came eight years ago at the Dunhill Championship in South Africa, double-bogey at the 17th – his eighth hole – but reeled off four birdies down the front nine en route to a three-under-par for the day.

The weather, though, certainly affected him as his dropped shots came after an 80-minute break following a thunderstorm.

“If you shoot a few under on the golf course, it doesn’t matter what are the conditions, it’s a good score,” the 31-year-old told europeantour.com.

“I’ve shot two times three under now, so I’m very happy and I hope I keep it going like that.”

He added: “I had just made double bogey before that. Then on 18, would have been my first shot after the lightning. I was a bit steamy there, and actually it was good for me I reckon that we got called off the course.

“It was nearly flat calm in the end. On the last four holes, there was a little breeze off the left, half a club of wind. It was very comfortable and nice to play and I’m really happy that I made something out of it.”

Noren looked good to claim the second-round lead after three consecutive birdies from the 14th, but he bogeyed the last to close out with the 67, which was the best score of the day.

Anders Hansen of Denmark and George Coetzee of South Africa are tied for fourth a four-under after carding 68s.

“I’m very proud of myself to keep doing what I’ve done, even though there’s a few shots that didn’t come as I wanted them to, but all in all, I’m still in the learning process of trying to figure this thing out,” Hansen said.

“To go out on a course like this with a few new things in the golf swing is not exactly easy. When you get out there, you have to trust what you’re doing.”

England’s David Lynn (72), Francesco Molinari of Italy (68) and Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin (71) are a further shot behind.

Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell are still in the run for the title at one-under after 69s.

Lee Westwood, meanwhile, endured a nightmare after dropping five shots in the four holes at Le Golf National.

The world number three was tied for third place after the 10th hole, but things went horribly wrong after that as he took penalty drops on three of the next five holes to finish with a two-over par 73.

“I got it together for the last few and I’m still not out of it,” Westwood said.

“If you hit it straight I think there’s a low score out there.”

Compatriot Paul Casey had an even worse round as he followed up his opening day 80 with another 80 to finish at 18-over-par.

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