Bjorn moves ahead at World Cup of Golf

Melbourne, Australia ( - Thomas Bjorn carded a 3-under 68 on Friday to claim a 1-stroke lead at the halfway point of the World Cup of Golf.

Bjorn, who is a 14-time winner on the European Tour but is seeking his first PGA Tour victory, completed two rounds at Royal Melbourne Golf Club at 8- under-par 134.

"I played really solid today," said Bjorn in a televised interview. "It got very windy and it was a bit tricky, but I love this golf course. It's just the way I love playing golf. It suits my eye and I just played solid for two days. If I can keep doing more of the same, then I'm in good shape."

Kevin Streelman held a share of the first-round lead with Bjorn, but posted a 2-under 69 to sit in second place at 7-under 135.

Jason Day (70) and Ricardo Santos (69) shared third at 4-under, while Matt Kuchar (68), Martin Laird (72), Hideto Tanihara (67) and Stuart Manley (72) are tied for fifth at minus-3.

The tournament consists of 60 players representing 34 different countries based on the Official World Golf Ranking and includes both an individual and team competition. The top two players from each country are teamed up and their scores are combined to account for their team score.

The United States' duo of Streelman and Kuchar currently holds the team lead at 10-under. Denmark sits in second at 7-under thanks to Bjorn's two-day total.

Streelman was the first of the first-round co-leaders to take the course and quickly pulled ahead by opening his round with four straight birdies, including about a 20-foot putt at the third, to move to 9-under.

"It was a heck of a start," Streelman said. "I just kind of put the ball where I needed to and then made some great putts."

A bogey at the eighth dropped him back to minus-8, and he followed that with a double-bogey 6 at the ninth to drop his lead to just a stroke over K.J. Choi, who had birdied the second to move to 5-under.

Laird birdied the second to meet Choi in second before Choi tripped to a double bogey at the fourth to drop three shots off the pace.

Choi was replaced in second by Bjorn, as he bounced back from an opening bogey with a birdie at the second to get back to 5-under.

Bjorn then made it two in a row with another gain at the third to meet Streelman in first at 6-under.

Bjorn later birdied the sixth to move a stroke clear of Streelman and claim the outright lead. Streelman, however, answered with a birdie at the par-5 15th to join Bjorn atop the leaderboard.

Streelman parred his final three holes to head into the clubhouse at 7-under.

"I kind of had two rough holes there in the middle, but I was able to get it back together and then finish with a relatively good round," stated Streelman.

Bjorn, meanwhile, followed his birdie at the sixth with six straight pars before rolling in a birdie at the 13th to claim the outright lead at 8-under.

He briefly pulled further away with a short birdie putt at the 17th, but he closed with a 3-putt bogey at the last to end at 8-under.

NOTES: Bjorn is teamed with Thorbjorn Olesen, who is tied for 21st place at 1- over-par 143 ... Choi posted a 3-over 74 in his second round to fall into a share of ninth place at 1-under 141 ... Kuchar won the team event with Gary Woodland the last time this tournament was contested in 2011.