Date: September 08, 2007

Rumford poised to strike

Brett Rumford is in outright third place just three shots behind leader Oliver Wilson at the halfway mark of the Omega European Masters after an impressive 66. Rumford birdied three of the first seven holes before a bogey on eight and it was more of the same on the back nine, the Aussie dropping just the one shot on 16 to go with four more birdies. Rumford now sits just two shots adrift of second-placed Welshman Bradley Dredge at the halfway mark of the tournament. Wilson resumed his first round with an eagle and finished his second with a birdie a few hours later to claim the halfway lead. Wilson was one of 44 players unable to complete their opening rounds on Thursday after a two-hour delay due to overnight frost at Crans-sur-Sierre. The former Walker Cup star was three under par at the time and faced with a 10ft eagle putt on the 15th green when play was suspended at 8pm local time. Under European Tour regulations he could have completed the hole but chose to mark his ball and return this morning, holing the putt and also picking up a birdie on the 17th to card a 65. After a 30-minute break to grab some breakfast, Wilson then compiled a 66 with six further birdies and one bogey for an 11-under-par total of 131, one shot ahead of defending champion Bradley Dredge of Wales. “It was a good decision last night because I was putting well but my caddie said to me it would be good to come back on a positive note and it worked out well,” said Wilson. “It is amazing the difference it made having that putt to start with. I knew realistically I would make birdie for four under and five was a bonus.” “I feel like I&aposm playing well enough to compete every week so hopefully one time I will get the breaks and it will happen with few more to follow. “There is a long way to go and there are no easy holes so I just have to keep concentrating and try to eliminate as many mistakes as possible.” The cut fell at two over par and that meant an early exit for Ryder Cup duo David Howell and Darren Clarke. Howell double-bogeyed the 18th to card a second consecutive 73 and finish six over while Clarke missed out by a single stroke after failing to find the required birdie over the closing four holes. Playing partner and K Club team-mate Robert Karlsson is four under after recovering from an early quadruple-bogey eight to return a 69, the same score as Lee Westwood who carded a 67. The final of the five Ryder Cup players taking part, England&aposs Paul Casey, was a shot behind on three under after a 68. After a promising 68 on day one of the tournament, Marcus Fraser fired a disappointing 71 to slip down the leaderboard and is now at three under after 36 holes, eigh shots behind Wilson. Second Round of the Omega European Masters, (Par 71): -11 Oliver Wilson 65 66 -10 Bradley Dredge 66 66 -8 Brett Rumford (Australia) 68 66 -7 Phillip Archer 69 66 -6 Oscar Floren 69 67, Tino Schuster 71 65, Miles Tunnicliff 71 65 -5 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano 70 67, Eduardo Romero 68 69, Anthony Wall 69 68 -4 Robert Karlsson 69 69, Zane Scotland 69 69, Graeme Storm 69 69, Lee Westwood 71 67 also: -3 Marcus Fraser (Australia) 68 71 +1 Peter O&aposMalley (Australia) 73 70, Terry Price (Australia) 75 68 missed cut: +4 Matthew Millar (Australia) 75 71, Wade Ormsby (Australia) 74 72 +10 Andrew Tampion (Australia) 81 71 +11 Matthew Zions (Australia) 79 74