Lundberg edges ahead

European Tour

Mikael Lundberg made the nest of great conditions to earn a one shot lead halfway through the Lyoness Open in Austria.

After a scintillating 67 in his first round where he shared the lead at Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, the Swede edged ahead of the field with a four under 68 in the second.

He leads England’s Lee Slattery, who carded a 66, by one stroke with Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay another shot behind.

“I hit a lot of good shots early on and managed to make some putts, so that got my confidence up,” said Lundberg, who made five birdies and a bogey.

“It’s a nice feeling when you get your distance control right with your wedges, because it takes a lot of pressure on your putting.

“It got tougher and tougher the longer the round went on, because the course got really firm and fast towards the end, so whilst it may look and feel easy, it never is.

Meanwhile, Slattery had a fast start with three birdies on his first four holes. But the Englishman shot up the leaderboard with an eagle on the par five 16th.

“I’ve been doing some great work with my new coach, Neil Jordan, over the last few weeks, and my game is feeling a lot more solid as a result,” said the 35-year-old.

“So whilst I didn’t maybe expect to play this well here, it’s not a complete shock to me either. It was great, I got off to a decent start again today, and I was off and running. I made some good up and downs at important times, which kept the momentum going.

“It’s a tricky course, there are potential disasters on every hole so you definitely can’t afford to get ahead of yourself.

“It’s quite old school golf where you’ve got to control your ball and put it in the right places. That suits me, so I’m enjoying it.”

Defending champion Joost Luiten is four shots back on five under for the tournament after a solid 67. After a even par 72 in the first round, his five birdies have kept hopes alive of a title defence.

“I’m very happy with five under,” said the 28-year-old Dutchman.

“I made some nice saves for par and that’s what you have to do around this course. You are going to be out of position sometimes and you have to play smart and try to save par.

“I am right back in there and that was the goal today, to try to make some ground on the leaders. We will see what happens and we have still 36 holes to go.”

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