Sicily, Italy – First-round leader Peter Lawrie only managed an even-par 72 on Friday and fell into a six-player tie for the lead after the second round of the Sicilian Open.
David Lynn (69), Jamie Donaldson (71), Pelle Edberg (66), Maarten Lafeber (68) and Simon Wakefield (67) joined Lawrie in first at eight-under 136 at Verdura Golf & Spa Resort.
Lawrie began on the 10th tee Friday and parred the first two before a bogey at the par-three 12th. He got the stroke back with a birdie at the par-five 14th, but back-to-back bogeys at 18 and 1 derailed his round.
He was able to get to even for the round thanks to birdies at three and seven.
Donaldson and Lafeber both had chances for the outright lead but bogeyed their last holes.
Donaldson built momentum with a 10-foot birdie putt at the sixth and a birdie at No. 7. He lost sole possession of the lead when he bogeyed the ninth, his final hole on Friday.
Lafeber enjoyed a mixed round with four birdies and a bogey on his front nine. He birdied the 11th, but dropped a shot at 12, a hole he birdied in the opening round.
Lafeber ascended up the leaderboard with birdies at 14 and 17 and was nine- under par. He bogeyed the par-four 18th to fall into the huge logjam in first place.
Lafeber won his national title, the 2003 Dutch Open, for his only tour win, but fell on hard times. He returned to Q School last year, but is in great shape heading into the weekend.
"I haven't played well enough for the last two years, and to go to Tour School for the first time since 1997 was a bit of a strange experience. So I'm happy to be back playing well again," he said. "It's looking pretty bunched at the moment. Jamie Donaldson is playing very well, and there's some good players up there so it won't be easy. It's important for me to get off to a good start, and hopefully I can take more of the chances which come my way over the weekend."
Lynn and Edberg both birdied their last holes to get into the mix in front.
Lynn was two-under par on his round until he drained a 50-footer for birdie at nine.
Edberg had an up-and-down Friday with an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys. Two of his birdies came at the 16th and 18th and that was enough for his piece of first.
Wakefield was flawless on Friday with five birdies, including three in a row from the seventh.
"It was just one those days when everything went right," said Wakefield. "I hit every shot I wanted to hit, and managed to hole my fair share of putts, so I'm delighted.
"The company's been great, the weather's perfect and there aren't many more scenic places like this to play golf, so I've really enjoyed myself. It makes you feel a bit more relaxed, and I play my best golf when I am relaxed."
Thorbjorn Olesen (69), Sam Hutsby (70), Garth Mulroy (67), Julien Guerrier (69), Soren Kjeldsen (72), Shane Lowry (70) and Richard Green (70) are knotted in seventh at seven-under 137.
NOTES: Major champions Rich Beem (69) and John Daly (67) are part of a group tied for 14th at six-under par...The 36-hole cut fell at three-under par and last year's winner, Raphael Jacquelin, missed the mark by eight strokes.