Date: June 21, 2008

Fowler falls further behind

Australian Peter Fowler has drifted 10 shots off the lead at the halfway point of the BMW International Open. Fowler shot a two-under-par second round of 70 to be three-under overall and in a share of 36th position – a far cry from outright leader Martin Kaymer (13-under). Kiwi Gareth Paddison is the pick of the trans-Tasman contingent to date in with a score of four-under. Bernhard Langer declared his compatriot Kaymer ready for the Ryder Cup after seeing him scorch to a 63 and into his five-stroke halfway lead. “I don&apost think it&aposs too early,” said Langer of the 23-year-old dubbed his “Herr Apparent”, who with victory on Monday could leap from 10th to sixth in the race for places in Nick Faldo&aposs team. “He is a winner and he has proved that. He hits it extremely long and very straight, but what was most impressive today was his putting.” “It&aposs great to see we have some youngsters who can hopefully take on the torch for golf in Germany in the future.” “I told him &aposyou&aposre very aggressive, but you&aposre smart at the same time like Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson&apos. He&aposs got an old head on young shoulders. Going by the last two days I don&apost think there are any limits for him if he keeps that up.” 50-year-old Langer, 24 himself when he first played against the Americans in 1981, made the cut on two-under, but is a massive 11 strokes behind. And with nobody even close at the halfway stage – England&aposs Benn Barham and Frenchman Francois Delamontagne are his closest challengers on eight-under – the one German trophy to have eluded Langer in his glittering career could well be in the hands of his young playing partner at the end of the weekend. Kaymer, who produced his display despite concerns about the health of his mother, was last season&aposs Rookie of the Year on the European Tour, then won his first title in Abu Dhabi in January and just two weeks later was runner-up to Tiger Woods in Dubai – after a birdie-birdie-eagle finish. The last of his nine birdies on Saturday came on the long 18th after a 269-yard two-iron went through the green. “I&aposm hitting the ball really long this week – I don&apost know why and it was a little scary to be honest,” commented Kaymer. “Like yesterday on the eight hole it was 190 metres (209 yards) and I hit a seven-iron and it was pin-high.” “To play in your own country with all of the support is awesome.” He and Langer spoke in private after signing their cards and when asked about the conversation Kaymer replied: “I asked him if he saw anything I can improve.” “He told me &aposyou can improve your wedges a little bit&apos and he offered his help.” Langer commented: “That&aposs how you learn.” Second Round of the BMW International Open (Par 72): -13: Martin Kaymer 68 63 -8: Benn Barham 68 68, Francois Delamontagne 70 66 -7: Richard Finch 69 68, Mardan Mamat 66 71, Tino Schuster 69 68, Henrik Stenson 69 68, Graeme Storm 68 69 -6: Thomas Bjorn 71 67, Ariel Canete 73 65, Paul Casey 70 68, Bradley Dredge 73 65, Pelle Edberg 70 68, Ross Fisher 70 68, Retief Goosen 69 69, David Howell 69 69, Maarten Lafeber 70 68, Pablo Larrazabal 69 69, Thomas Levet 69 69, Charl Schwartzel 69 69 Also: -4: Gareth Paddison (New Zealand) 70 70 -3: Peter Fowler (Australia) 71 70, Peter O Malley (Australia) 66 75 -1: Mark Brown (New Zealand) 72 71 +2: Michael Campbell (New Zealand) 72 74 +3: Matthew Millar (Australia) 69 78 +12: Rick Kulacz (Australia) 83 73