Anthony Wall shot a 4-under 67 Friday to take a two-shot lead after the second round of the European Tour’s inaugural Sicilian Open.
The Englishman’s bogey-free round included two birdies, plus an eagle on the par-5 12th hole, giving him a 9-under total of 133. He’s aiming for his second European Tour title.
2011 SICILIAN OPEN
The Sicilian Open is the first European Tour event of 2011 played on European soil, and is the first European Tour event ever played on the Italian island of Sicily.
Richard Green of Australia and Raphael Jacquelin of France were tied for second, two shots back.
Green made six birdies in his 67, but had a double bogey at the 10th. Jacquelin had a double bogey on the sixth and finished with four birdies.
Wall attributed his success to an improved short game.
“I have just been looking at the low side of every putt for the last two days,” he said. “I’m really concentrating on the last third of the putt as opposed to the whole putt and that has definitely helped me. I haven’t holed everything, but I have hit my putts a lot better.”
Overnight co-leader Stephen Dodd slipped into fourth with a 72. Colin Montgomerie had a bogey-free 69 and was tied for ninth.
Wall hailed the influence of an unusual piece of golf technology for his second-round surge.
"I bought a Dave Stockton iPhone app about reading greens and that is the best 59 pence (approximatey $1) I have ever spent because his tips have really simplified a few things for me,” he said. “I haven't holed everything but I have hit my putts a lot better.
"It was a bargain, I have to say. You don't get many valuable lessons for 59 pence these days,” he added. “Dave Stockton is and always was an amazing putter and you tend to listen to those guys a bit more.
"I have played great for the last two days -- this is a tough golf course and I have played really well again today,” he explained. "I haven't really had a tough par putt for the last two days and that tells you how well I have been playing. If I can stay strong mentally then I should have a good chance to win here."
Both Jacquelin and Green marred otherwise excellent rounds with double bogeys.
Jacquelin had been tied for third overnight and made a superb start, hitting a birdie on the first hole. However, the Frenchman then took 6 at the par-4 sixth and though he managed to sink three more birdies, his 69 meant he finished with a 4-under-par 135.
Green started at the 10th with a double-bogey 6 but also hit six birdies to finish on 67.
Five players share fourth place on 5 under after Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti mustered a 4-under homeward nine of 32 and Spaniard Alejandro Canizares birdied two of his last three holes to join Sweden's Oscar Floren, Welshman Stephen Dodd and Marco Crespi of Italy.
Another Englishman, Chris Wood, bogeyed the last two holes to drop out of that group and into a share of 10th, level with Montgomerie. Europe's successful Ryder Cup captain, who resumed in a tie for 17th after a first-round score of 69, produced a fine bogey-free round despite struggling with illness.
"I'm not feeling very well -- terrible flu -- so I did well today," he said. "That was okay, to not drop a shot. I haven't dropped a shot since the first two holes of Round 1, things are looking up."
Overnight co-leader Jose Manuel Lara, by contrast, carded five bogeys and just one birdie in a 75.