Wales Open latest: Lane in the hunt

Barry Lane is handily placed to become the European Tour’s oldest-ever winner at the Wales Open.

English veteran Barry Lane, who will be 51 later this month, has given himself another chance to become the European Tour’s oldest-ever winner.
In the 673rd event of his career on the Tour – that’s only 33 fewer than record-holder Sam Torrance – Lane moved into a share of sixth place early in Friday’s second round of the Saab Wales Open at Celtic Manor.
The former Ryder Cup player had earlier appeared to be a battle to survive the halfway cut when he stood two over par after 10 holes but something happened to change everything and he came storming home with five birdies in an inward 30.
For the second day running he birdied the 485-yard 14th – rated by Graeme McDowell as the hardest hole on the course – and that took him to four under par, alongside the defending champion McDowell and three behind pacesetter Keith Horne.
Lane, a member of the 1993 Ryder Cup team at The Belfry, came only 50th in the US Senior PGA Championship last week, but early last season he showed what he could still do against players half his age with a third place finish in India.
The oldest winner in Tour history remains Ireland’s Des Smyth, who was 48 when he captured the Madeira Island Open a decade ago.
South African Horne and McDowell were among the later starters today, but Darren Clarke was quickly back in action and he was another on four under after a birdie on the long 11th, his opening hole.
In the group ahead, however, Colin Montgomerie double-bogeyed the 458-yard 12th and, following as it did an opening 78, stood 151st out of the 154 who remained.
That number had come down with Welshman Stephen Dodd not continuing after his first day 80.