Date: September 15, 2012
Author: Omnisport

Tough day for Aussies in Italy

England&aposs Richard Bland has stormed home with five birdies on the back nine to take a one-shot lead at the halfway point of the Italian Open as the Australian contingent failed to make the cut in Turin. Bland, though, started Friday&aposs second round tied for third, but having moved into a tie for second with Lee Slattery after a birdie on the first hole, the 39-year-old Englishman was left behind as Gregory Bourdy, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano, Garth Mulroy and Marc Warren shone on the front nine. At just one-under for the day after nine holes at Royal Park I Roveri, Bland played some brilliant golf on his way back to the clubhouse, including consecutive birdies on the last three holes, to complete a six-under round of 66. Bland tops the leaderboard on 12 under and leads Bourdy of France, Spain&aposs Fdez-Castano, South Africa&aposs Mulroy and Warren of Scotland by a shot, with that quartet tied for second on 11 under. The latter three were all at nine under halfway through their second rounds but Bourdy, who started the day five strokes behind overnight leader Joel Sjoholm, was still two shots further back with half a round to play. The 30-year-old Frenchman managed four more birdies on the back nine, however, to complete an eight-under 64, the best round of the day. England&aposs Richard McEvoy sits a shot behind Bourdy and the others on 11 under. Sjoholm of Sweden endured a tough day in Turin, which included two bogeys on the back nine and ended with a one-under round of 71 to move to nine under for the tournament as he drops into a tie for seventh. Another six players, including fellow Swedes Joakim Lagergren and Mikael Lundberg, have joined Sjoholm at nine under. For the Australians, David McKenzie (70,73) missed the cut by three strokes as he finished his second round at one-under overall, alongside compatriot Andrew Dodt, who carded a fine five-under 67 on Friday, albeit one that couldn&apost make up for his opening round of 76. The pair are one stroke ahead of fellow Aussie Scott Strange (72,72) while Matthew Zions is further down the leaderboard at six over for the opening two rounds.