Date: October 14, 2017
Author: European Tour

Fraser (62) on fire in Italy


Marcus Fraser produced the lowest round of his European Tour career on Friday to grab a share of the lead at the halfway stage of the Italian Open.

The Australian fired nine birdies – including five in a row from the eighth – and no bogeys to sign for a second-round 62 and get to 13 under par.

The 39 year old had first-round co-leader Matt Wallace for company at the top of the leaderboard after the Englishman carded an eagle and four birdies in his bogey-free 65.

Early starters Fraser and Wallace sit two strokes clear of nearest challengers Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Jamie Donaldson who posted 67s in the afternoon to head into the weekend on 11 under.

Fraser began the day three shots behind the six players in a tie for the lead after Thursday's 67 but soon set about closing the gap.

After picking up his first shot of the day at the sixth, Fraser reeled off five consecutive birdies around the turn to take the lead but an eagle at the ninth from Wallace saw the 2017 Open de Portugal at Morgado Golf Resort winner replace Fraser at the summit.

However, Fraser's putter was red-hot and he rolled in from 12 feet for another birdie at the 14th to join him. Fraser then closed his round with two further birdies at the 17th and 18th to post the lowest score of the week so far.

Three-time European Tour winner Fraser, who was 136th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex at the start of the week, was delighted with his performance on the greens.

He said: "To come and do that today, I'm pretty proud of myself and it's quite reassuring that I still can play golf. "I felt like I've putted well and scrambled well this week. Today I took it to a new level with the putter. I felt like I putted well yesterday and I probably out-did it today."

In other parts of the world, Australia's Minjee Lee is tied-10th in the LPGA's Hana Bank Championship in South Korea after a second-round 71. Lee was outright leader early in her second round but a ball in the water on the par-five x and two three-putts unravavelled her round, leaving American Angel Kim to seize the lead.

Lee is four shots from the top of the leaderboard at the halfway point.

In Kuala Lumpur, Queenslander Cameron Smith lost his first-round lead of the CIMB Classic after carding a second-round 71 but is still in contention.

Smith was overtaken by American Pat Perez, but is just four shots from the lead after starting with a 66.