Published November 20, 2014
Austria's Bernd Wiesberger chipped in for birdie on his last hole Friday to grab the second-round lead of the Ballantine's Championship.
Wiesberger fired a bogey-free, seven-under 65 and finished 36 holes at seven- under 137. He owns a one-shot lead over 2010 champion Marcus Fraser, who carded a five-under 67 Friday at Blackstone Golf Club.
Oscar Floren also shot a five-under 67 in round two and is third at minus- five.
Last year's runner-up Miguel Angel Jimenez (68), Anthony Wall (67) and Felipe Aguilar (69) share fourth place at four-under 140.
Wiesberger took advantage of the easier earlier conditions, but first-round leader Victor Dubuisson wasn't as fortunate. Dubuisson shot a three-over 75 on Friday and fell into a tie for 19th at one-under 143.
But Wiesberger was sensational on Friday.
"Today I couldn't really do anything wrong really," said Wiesberger. "It felt like everything was going in the right direction. I'm just trying to hit a lot of greens and try and hit on the right spots, which is important here. It's a tricky golf course when you hit into the wrong places."
Wiesberger began the second round on the 10th tee and parred his first three holes. He broke into red figures with a birdie at the par-three 13th, a hole he double-bogeyed on Thursday. Wiesberger added birdies at 15 and 18 to make the turn at three-under par for the championship.
Wiesberger continued his fine form on the second nine.
He drained a 20-foot birdie putt at the second and three holes later, Wiesberger rolled in an uphill 25-footer for birdie. The Austrian made it two in a row at six when he knocked his approach five feet from the flagstick.
Wiesberger was tied for the lead with Fraser and missed the green at the par- four ninth. He holed his downhill birdie chip to move into sole possession of the lead.
Wiesberger is winless on the European Tour, despite some close brushes last year, his rookie season on tour. He finished second twice, including a five- man playoff loss to Thomas Bjorn at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
"Last year I always kind of hung in there," said Wiesberger. "So I feel comfortable up there. It's different for you if you go in the last day as the leader, but we'll see how it goes.
"We'll see how tomorrow goes, and I'll just take it easy and hope that I have a nice day tomorrow."
Graeme Storm (69), Alexander Noren (66), Oliver Fisher (70) and Ji-ho Jung (71) are tied for seventh at three-under 141.
NOTES: Wiesberger won twice on the European Challenge Tour in 2010...Wiesberger has never owned a piece of the 36-hole lead on the European Tour...Ian Poulter fired a five-under 67 and vaulted into a tie for 11th at two-under with, among others, 2009 winner Thongchai Jaidee, and Paul Casey...Adam Scott, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 12, struggled to a four-over 76 and fell into a tie for 57th at three-over par...The 36-hole cut fell at four-over 148 and reigning Open champion Darren Clarke missed the mark by a stroke.