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Happy at halfway

Thomas Bjorn was tied for the lead Thursday night, but with his nearest rivals failing to take advantage of Friday's benign conditions, a second round of 72 kept the veteran from Denmark firmly in contention.

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If you can control your ball flight, then you can do well in really tough, windy conditions, says Thomas Bjorn. (Getty Images)

SANDWICH, England (PA Sport) -- Thomas Bjorn was more than happy with his position after 36 holes in the Open Championship, despite faring seven shots worse than Thursday.

Bjorn was tied for the lead overnight after an opening 65 at Royal St. George's, but with his nearest rivals failing to take advantage of benign conditions, a second round of 72 still kept the Dane firmly in contention.

"I got off to a bad start, all of a sudden had three bogeys in a row and it became a battle from there," said the 40-year-old, who blew a three-shot lead with four to play when the Open was last staged here in 2003. "But I managed to stay with it today and the short game helped me a little bit at the end. It wasn't the prettiest of days golf-wise, but I'll take where I stand in the championship right now.

"It's a great position. I just walked off the golf course with Gary Woodland there on 3 over par and he's still got a chance of winning the championship,” he added. “He's probably going to make it (the cut) just on the mark.

"Everybody that's there for this weekend can win it, and that's what we're looking ahead to,” he said. “Unlike often when you're in contention in a championship where it may be between six, seven, eight of you, now it's between the whole field."

That whole field is likely to be faced with bad weather over the weekend, and Bjorn -- only the sixth reserve last week before a spate of withdrawals --  added: "We've faced it before, but it all comes down to how well you're playing. If you feel in control of your ball flight, then you can do well in really tough, windy conditions. But if you're not, you're going to run up numbers. Time will tell where everybody stands.

"Guys that have grown up with links golf (have an advantage). But it's all about playing great,” he explained. “It's not about what you've done 20 years ago or 30 years ago, it's about how you play the next two days.

"And if you're not on it, then you're not going to have a chance. But the guys that are on it, they'll run away with it."