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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 20:14 GMT 21:14 UK
Dredge sets pace for Welsh hopes
By Nabil Hassan
BBC Wales Sport at the Celtic Manor

Bradley Dredge is two shots off the lead after the second round
Bradley Dredge is two shots off the lead after the second round
Bradley Dredge led the home challenge at Celtic Manor after the second round of the 2007 Wales Open on Friday.

He fired a second round 66 to end the day on six-under-par and just two shots off surprise leader Mads Vibe-Hastrup.

Dredge, 33, hit three birdies and was joined in the third round by fellow Welshmen Phillip Price, Kyron Sullivan, Liam Bond and Garry Houston.

But compatriots Sion Bebb, Craig Smith, Mark Pilkington, David Park and Mark Litton all missed the cut at level par.

Amateur Welsh duo Rhys Enoch, despite a second-round 68, and Llewellyn Matthews also failed to reach the third day.

"I'm pretty pleased with how I played and am only two shots off the lead," said Dredge.

"That's a good place to be and hopefully if I can improve my putting I can be competitive over the weekend.

"A few big names haven't made it through to the third round so that always helps your chances. I know I can play better, but scoring is going to be low so I'll need to improve."

I was quite nervous at one stage, as it looked like I was going to miss the cut

Phillip Price

Dredge has received his fair share of criticism in the past few days after deciding not to attend qualifying for both the US Open and the Open.

A top-two finish here would automatically secure his place at the Open and the 33-year-old feels that would be the perfect response to his critics.

He said: "I made my decision for various reasons but it is not anything new, it has always been my policy.

"I go into every tournament hoping to win and this one is no different and a top-two finish would be the perfect way to answer my critics."

At one stage it looked as if Ryder Cup hero Price would be crashing out of this year's Wales Open.

With four holes to play, Price was on level-par having double bogeyed the 14th,

But he birdied the 16th to finish the day on one-under, a shot inside the cut.

He said: "I was quite nervous at one stage, as it looked like I was going to miss the cut.

"But I managed to hold it together and birdied the 16th and that rescued my day."

Marriott St Pierre professional Liam Bond - who only received his invite to the competition on Monday - had an eventful day, ending his second round as he started it on three-under.

His round of 68 included four bogeys and five birdies, ending the day five shots off the lead.

"I'm chuffed to bits with that," admitted Bond.

"It was a long day (he finished his round at 2030 BST) and my concentration went a little as a result.

"But it's great to be in contention and a top-10 finish here would be great."

Houston is a shot behind on two-under as is Sullivan, who ended his second round with a score of 68.



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