Friday, September 3, 2010

Jimenez leads after dazzling 61

Second round leaderboard:
-14 MA Jimenez (Spa) -11 M Manassero (Ita), E Molinari (Ita) -10 M Ilonen (Fin) -9 G Storm (Eng) -8 C Schwartzel (SA) Selected others: -5 D Clarke (NI) -4 C Wood (Eng) -1 R McGowan (Eng) level Oosthuizen (SA)

Miguel Angel Jimenez
Jimenez will play in his fourth Ryder Cup in Wales in October

Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez carded a 10-under-par 61 to lead by three shots after the second day of the European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre.

The 46-year-old Ryder Cup star fired two eagles and six birdies for the lowest round of his 27-year European Tour career and 14 under par overall.

Italian Edoardo Molinari, the only other member of the European Ryder Cup side in the event, lies joint second.

Compatriot Matteo Manassero, 17, is alongside him on 11 under par.

Jimenez, making his 22nd successive visit to the Swiss resort, had a chance of the Tour's first-ever 59 when he reached the 16th tee needing two more birdies.

But the Spaniard, who has had 10 of his 17 victories on the circuit since turning 40, had to be content with parring the three remaining holes.

Molinari, handed a Ryder Cup wildcard after his win in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles last Sunday, added a 65 to his opening 66.

First round leader Manassero, trying to become the Tour's youngest-ever winner in only his sixth event as a professional, chipped in for eagle at the long 15th in his 67.

But the day belonged to a player who made his Tour debut 10 years before Manassero was even born.

"It was a beautiful day in the mountains," said Jimenez, playing his 535th Tour event. "I was thinking 59 a little bit and I tried, but it was still a great round. All the clubs were working properly and that's what you need."

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