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Last Updated: Friday, 20 July 2007, 20:54 GMT 21:54 UK
Leader Garcia says belief is key
Sergio Garcia
Garcia has tied for fifth at the last two Open championships
Sergio Garcia feels belief is the key to him being able to maintain his lead at the 136th Open Championship.

The 27-year-old Spaniard holds a two-shot advantage over KJ Choi at the halfway stage after a second-round of 71 kept him at six under par.

"It wasn't an easy day out there," he said. "I managed to not make many mistakes. I didn't play as well as yesterday, but I was quite consistent.

"I am in a good position. I just have to keep playing well and believing."

Garcia has in the past come close to ending Europe's search for their first major winner since Paul Lawrie triumphed at Carnoustie in 1999, only to fall at the final hurdle.

He was fifth and third in the last two majors in 2006 - both times finishing behind Woods.

Garcia added: "I'm trying. I'm trying to win as many majors as I can. That's all I can do.

"Last year I managed to shoot 23 under in the last two majors and didn't win. What can you do?"

Garcia says his new belly putter has been a big factor in his success so far this week.

"I just feel a bit more comfortable with the belly putter than I did with the little putter," he said. "More than anything, under pressure I think I can put a better stroke on it."

KJ Choi shot a second successive 69 to take him to four under.

606: DEBATE

The Korean believes playing alongside Paul Lawrie at Carnoustie eight years ago has given him the tools needed to win the Open.

"Back in 1999 my shots were weak in the wind," he said. "When I played with Paul I learned a lot from him as I saw how he used the ball and the wind to work for him.

"I think it was a good lesson for me. Coming into this week I knew how to use the wind to my advantage.

"Knowing this course I felt more comfortable and that's why I think I'm playing better this year."

Garcia's Ryder Cup team-mate Miguel Angel Jimenez enjoyed a good day out on the Angus links.

After his opening day 69 he moved to three under with a birdie at the fourth before successive bogeys at the turn saw him slip back.

But the Spaniard got one back at the par-five 14th then almost holed his tee shot at the par three 16th and tapped in for a third birdie of the day.

His round of 70 puts him just three shots behind Garcia.

Mike Weir joined Jimenez on three under par after a second round 68 - the best round of the day.

And the former Masters champion feels his experience of winning a major could give him the edge over Garcia and Jimenez going into the weekend.

"I don't think you underestimate it," said Weir.

"You hear Tiger say that until you have done it you don't know you can do it. When you have that in your back pocket for the last nine holes of a major it is like extra ammo.

"You know you have done it before."

American Jim Furyk fired a one under par round of 70 as he edged closer to contention.

The world number three fired in five birdies and four bogeys, including a dropped shot at the last for the second successive day.

I don't watch golf - if it ain't hunting or fishing it don't interest me

Boo Weekley when asked about his knowledge of Open history
Furyk's compatriot Boo Weekley joined him in the clubhouse on two under after a one over par 72.

Weekley, who is making his Open debut, seems to have adapted quickly to links golf.

"This is the kind of golf course I grew up on," he said. "It wasn't a links but it was fast.

"Out here it's a bump and run course. You have to hit your drive right but sometimes you can hit your drive well and it can still run off into the rough.

"We have still got 36 holes to go so. We have got to hit it a bit better than we did today."

South African Ernie Els is sitting on level par after a second-round 70 but was frustrated with his putting display.

He only had one bogey but could only pick up two birdies and admitted: "It could have been four or five shots better.

"It was a frustrating day. I seem to be reading the putts but they are not going in. I had a lot of looks at birdies and again I didn't capitalise on a lot of it.

"If even par is going to be the winning score, I'm right on track. If it's not, I have to pick up some shots. It all depends on the weather on Saturday."

Sweden's Niclas Fasth recovered from his opening round of 75 with a two under par 69.

It could have been even better had he not spoiled his card with a double bogey six on the 14th hole.

The only other players to break 70 on a tough day of scoring was France's Raphael Jacquelin and Charley Hoffman of the US.

SEE ALSO
Open Diary
20 Jul 07 |  Golf
The Open day two photos
20 Jul 07 |  Golf
Open quotes of the day
20 Jul 07 |  Golf
The real McIlroy
19 Jul 07 |  Golf


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