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Winther and Pieters lead in Prague

Saturday, August 20 2016 by SNTV
  • Denmark's Jeff Winther and Thomas Pieters of Belgium hold a four shot lead over the rest of the field at the halfway stage in the Czech Masters in Prague on Friday (19th August)

    Glorious weather for the second day in succession at the Czech Masters in Prague on Friday, but for some of the players chasing a late place in the European Ryder Cup team, the sun didn't shine so brightly.

    Andy Sullivan, sitting eighth in the World Points List with two qualifying weeks remaining, needed something special after his opening round 75, but the Englishman never got going at all.

    When he missed a bogey putt on the 8th, his hopes of going into the weekend evaporated and he eventually signed for a 73, four over par overall and he missed the cut by three strokes.

    Lee Westwood went out in 34, two under for the day, then suffered a triple bogey at the 12th.

    He dropped another shot at the 14th, but fought back with birdies at the 16th and 18th to return a level par round.

    Another Ryder Cup contender, Matthew Fitzpatrick, carded a second successive 69 to get to six under par, in a group of half a dozen players four shots off the pace.

    Fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood also got to six under, courtesy of a four under par round of 68. a brilliant effort here set up a birdie on the 5th.

    Two more Englishmen, David Howell and Steven Brown, plus Sweden's Robert Karlsson and Peter Hanson, make up the chasing pack.

    The men to catch are Denmark's Jeff Winther and Thomas Pieters of Belgium, the 2015 champion.

    Pieters opened his defence with a five under par 67 on Thursday and added a second on Friday, a five-birdie, bogey-free round which took him to ten under for the tournament.
    Winther went one better with a 66 - he began from the tenth with four birdies in his first five holes and then eagled the first, his tenth.

    Another birdie followed at the third, but there was one dropped shot at the 8th.

    He'll be pleased with his work though and Winther and Pieters will take a four shot lead into the weekend.

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