Lee Westwood charged into the lead after a windswept second round of the Compaq European Grand Prix at De Vere Slaley Hall with an outstanding four under par 68 which took him to eight under par and three shots clear at the top of the leaderboard.
Westwood, winner of the Deutsche Bank – SAP Open TPC of Europe last month, went to the turn in 37, one over par, and picked up his first birdie on the 10th from 20 feet to get back to four under and just one off the pace. The 27-year-old from Worksop then found the par-five 11th green in two to set up another birdie and promptly pitched in from 30 yards for an eagle three on the next. A birdie on the final hole concluded an outstanding round.
That took him to eight under par and three shots ahead of Fredrik Jacobson, who compiled a brilliant round of 70 for a halfway total of 139, five under par, with Belgian Nicolas Vanhootegem on three under in the clubhouse after a superb 71 with winds gusting at 40 mph..
The 25-year-old Monaco-based Swede equalled the European Tour record for the lowest number of putts - matching Sam Torrance's total of 20 from the first round - chipping in on the second and holing a bunker shot on the fourth for a par after a penalty shot.
"I don't know if it's the toughest conditions I've played in but add a bit of rain and it would have been!" Jacobson said. "If there was much more wind you couldn't play because the ball would start moving on the green.
"I'm really happy with my game especially as I had an operation on my left thumb in December after fracturing it when I fell on it playing ice hockey. It needed a pin in for six or seven weeks and I didn't get back into action until March.
"I've been working harder on my physical training and all of my game since last summer and it's nice when the results start to come."
Jacobson, who finished third in the Wales Open at Celtic Manor Resort, has led previously at the halfway stage in the Belgacom Open in 1998 but was pipped to the title by a certain Lee Westwood in a play-off.
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