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Saturday, 10 August, 2002, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Lawrie stays on track
Paul Lawrie in action at the Wales Open
Lawrie equalled Celtic Manor course record
Former Open champion Paul Lawrie equalled the course record to claim a two-shot lead in the weather-delayed Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open.

Lawrie completed the seven remaining holes of his second round in three under to card a seven under 65 on Saturday morning.

It gave the 33-year-old a halfway total of 12 under and a two-shot lead over Australian Richard Green and John Bickerton, and puts him in pole position to go one better than his second place in the event last year.


That was nice, a satisfactory morning's work
Paul Lawrie

Bad weather reduced that event to 36 holes and Lawrie lost out in a sudden-death play-off with eventual winner Paul McGinley and Daren Lee.

The trio played the par three 12th over and over again to find a winner, and Lawrie was left facing a six-foot birdie putt on the same hole on Friday night when the third and final suspension of play occurred.

This time he made no mistake when play resumed, despite a wait of almost 17 hours.

Further birdies at the 16th and 18th saw him card a 65 that equalled the record established by South African James Kingston and Green in the first round.

Lawrie said: "That was nice, a satisfactory morning's work. I'm going back to the hotel now to chill out for a few hours.

"I'm not going to tee off in the third round until about 1830 and I might not tee off at all. We'll have to wait and see.

"The prospect of 36 holes tomorrow wouldn't worry me. I feel very fit. I've been working on building up my fitness slowly over a long period. I've lost a little weight but gained strength and it definitely helps."

Darren Clarke recorded a second round 74
Darren Clarke suffered a poor finish at Celtic Manor

Bickerton carded his second-successive 67 to finish on 10 under, first-round joint leader Green adding a 69 to his opening 65.

"I was up at 0500 BST this morning along with everyone else," said Green, who won the Dubai Desert Classic in 1997 in a play-off with Greg Norman and Ian Woosnam.

"It was hard to get going early on and I was yawning my head off still on the sixth hole. It was a bit of a struggle but I got through it and played nicely on the back nine."

Pre-tournament favourite Darren Clarke carded two double-bogeys in his disappointing 74 to lie two under.

The entire second round was eventually completed midway through Saturday afternoon following Friday's early finish because of fog, rain and lightning, but the top 18 players in the field will only begin round three on Sunday.

The halfway cut was made at one-over-par 145, with 74 players progressing to the third round.

Tournament officials hope to complete both the third and fourth rounds on Sunday, despite a gloomy weather forecast.


Second-round leaderboard (GB&I unless stated):

-12 Paul Lawrie (after 36 holes)
-10 John Bickerton (36) Richard Green (Aus) (36)
-7 Roger Wessels (Rsa) (36) Robert Karlssson (36) Jeremy Robinson (36)
-6 Mikko Ilonen (Fin) (36) Trevor Immelman (Rsa) (36) Rolf Muntz (Ned) (36)

Selected Others:
-4 Paul McGinley (36)
-2 Darren Clarke (36) Lee Westwood (36)
+1 Phil Price (36)

This week's golf from around the world

Women's Open

Wales Open

Buick Open

GOLF STATISTICS
See also:

09 Aug 02 | Golf
08 Aug 02 | Golf
07 Aug 02 | Golf
26 Jun 02 | Wales
12 Feb 02 | Golf
29 Sep 01 | Golf
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