Stenson and Coetzee share BMW Open lead, get there very differently

henrik stenson
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Co-leader Henrik Stenson managed a 70 on Friday, even after fishing his ball out of a hazard on the ninth hole.
By
PA Sport

Series: European Tour

Published: Friday, June 24, 2011 | 3:41 p.m.

Sweden's Henrik Stenson and South African George Coetzee share the lead at the halfway stage of the European Tour’s BMW International Open. But they arrived on 10 under par by very different routes.

Stenson bogeyed his last two holes on Friday for a 70 -- six worse than his first-day score -- while Coetzee birdied two of his last three for a second successive 67.

"It's never fun to finish with two bogeys, but you gain some, you lose some,” said Stenson. “Sometimes that's the way it is."

The former world N. 4 , now down at 124th after more than two years without a win, had been three clear of the field when he followed a chip-in eagle on the long sixth with a tap-in birdie at the 441-yard next.

"I'm in a good position and I'm feeling very good," he added. "I had to fight a little bit early on, but I managed to stay patient."

Coetzee has yet to taste victory on the European Tour and has yet to play in a major championship, but that will change in three weeks. He earned a place in the British Open on the sixth hole of a playoff earlier this month.

"I believe I can win every single event there and the more I get in contention in Europe, the more I will believe I should be up there," said the 24-year-old from Pretoria, who is a four-time winner on his home circuit.

One shot back in third place is Spain's Pablo Larrazabal -- the player Coetzee beat in near-darkness at the Open qualifier. He could still make it to Royal St. George’s with a two finish this weekend.

"I really want to play, so I am just going to go for it," he said.

Larrazabal is also looking to make amends for what happened at this tournament a year ago. He led with three holes to play, but double bogeyed the 16th, bogeyed the 17th and lost by two to England's David Horsey.

On his return to the 16th, he spun his approach into the cup for an eagle 2.

"It's given me confidence -- I'm not scared of that hole," he said.

Sergio Garcia, not in the Open yet either, is six strokes back after a 71, but world No. 3 and local hero Martin Kaymer moved to 6 under with a 68.

The cut fell at 2 under, so Colin Montgomerie made it with nothing to spare on the day after his 48th birthday. But Paul Casey's closing eagle was of no use -- he still missed by three after a 73.

Also out went fellow Englishman Nick Dougherty -- his 15th early exit in a row dating back to last November -- but compatriot Matt Haines survived for the first time in 19 attempts this season.