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  Friday, 20 July, 2001, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Trio challenge at Lytham
Sweden's Jesper Parnevik
Parnevik hit five birdies in his round of 68
Jesper Parnevik said his early start paid dividends as he moved into contention after his second round at Lytham.

While Englishman Greg Owen and American Joe Ogilvie enjoyed the thrill of leading The Open.

The experienced Swede hit four birdies in his first eleven holes and finished with a three-under-par 68 to move to five under for the tournament.

But he had to put on a brave face when a late stumble took him off the top of The Open leaderboard on Friday.

"It was a beautiful morning and conditions were a lot easier than they were for the first round with less wind," he admitted after his second round.

"There were birdies there for the taking. I hit every green and every fairway which helped enormously.

"There are also birdie opportunities at the par fives."

Room for improvement

However, despite his promising two rounds, Parnevik said he still has room for improvement.

"My putter hasn't warmed up yet but I'm very happy to be in contention at this stage.

"I need to continue hitting the ball as I have been and also hole a few more putts."

Parnevik was also keen to make amends for a disappointing tournament at St Andrews last year where he was hampered by injury.

"I enjoy coming to The Open and although there are a lot of Ryder Cup points at stake, the main focus for me this week is to win The Open," he added.

Englishman Greg Owen experienced the thrill of leading The Open, albeit briefly, before a bogey at the 18th saw him slip back to five-under-par in the clubhouse alongside Parnevik.

Owen got a birdie at the 17th in his round to take the lead on his own and said he was delighted with his achievement.

Shivers

"I looked at the scoreboard coming up the 18th and saw my name at the top of the leaderboard and it sent shivers down my spine.

"It was a fantastic feeling although it was a shame that I couldn't convert the last hole to stay there but I'm absolutely thrilled" said the 29-year-old.

Owen made the cut at St Andrews last year and is looking forward to playing with the big guns in the third round.

"I've been playing my shots into the greens very well although my tee shots haven't been the best. It's very nerve-wracking but every year at The Open I can see I'm improving," he confessed.

American Joe Ogilvie, who also lies on five under, was delighted to be in a challenging position at the halfway point.

"I was told before I came here to try to get as much under par as possible on the front nine because of the difficulty of the back nine" he said.

"I was pleased to get three birdies by the turn and then two more at the 11th and the 13th. Although I got two bogeys in the back nine I was still very happy.

"I've never played links golf before but it seems to suit my game and I'm playing solidly," said the American

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Sweden's Jesper Parnevik
"I hit every green and every fairway"
America's Joe Ogilvie
"I feel very fortunate"
England's Greg Owen
"I'm over the moon, delighted"
The 130th Open, at Royal Lytham

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20 Jul 01 | The Open
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