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Joost Luiten holds narrow lead in Lyoness Open

Updated: Friday, 07 Jun 2013 19:35 | Comments

Joost Luiten holds the lead
Joost Luiten holds the lead

Holland's Joost Luiten will take a slender lead into the third round of the Lyoness Open as England's Tom Lewis fell four shots off the pace.

Luiten added a 68 to his opening 65 at Diamond Country Club to finish 11 under par, one shot clear of England's Paul Waring, Scotland's Callum Macaulay and Spain's Eduardo de la Riva.

Lewis began the day with a two-shot lead over Luiten following a flawless 63 on Thursday, but could only manage a 74 on Friday which contained three birdies and five bogeys.

Starting from the 10th, Luiten covered the back nine in 35 with three birdies and two bogeys before coming home in 33 thanks largely to some brilliant approach shots.

And the 27-year-old could have been further in front if not for missing from four feet for birdie on the third after his second shot had almost pitched straight into the hole.

"It felt good," Luiten, who won the Iskandar Johor Open in 2011, told Sky Sports 2. "I hit some nice shots, some close for birdie, and the only difference from yesterday was that I didn't make any long putts.

"But I am very happy with an 11-under total and I am in a good position for the weekend."

Gareth Maybin is the leading Irish player at four-under, with Damien McGrane a shot back and David Higgins on one-under.

Alan Dunbar missed the cut by a shot. 

Waring, who enjoyed the first top-five finish of his European Tour career in the Spanish Open in April, was six under par for his first 13 holes before driving into water on the 14th and having to hole a five-foot putt to salvage a bogey.

The 28-year-old from Birkenhead, playing in Austria on a medical exemption after an operation on a serious wrist injury, bounced back with a birdie from close range on the next but then three-putted the 16th and had to settle for a second consecutive 67.

"I'm very happy," Waring told European Tour Radio. "I finished a little bit poorly but I played awful the last few weeks to be honest so it's nice to feel I have got my swing back where it needs to be.

"I did a lot of work after missing the cut in Sweden and because I know the course here I even had Tuesday at home practising before flying out.

"The wrist is absolutely fine now, nothing to worry about which is nice. I can go and play golf and practice as much as I want and we are starting to see some results out of it."

Macaulay also benefited from some hard work after missing the cut in Stockholm as he looks to make the most of gaining his Tour card with a last-hole birdie at the qualifying school in November.

"It's uncharted waters for the last two or three years to be honest," the 29-year-old from Falkirk said of his lofty position on the leaderboard. "It's come out of nowhere really.

"I had a really really poor start to the season. I have worked exceptionally hard to try and get better and I did a lot of work in Sweden with Scott Arnold, who also missed the cut. He made a couple of simple suggestions and here we are.

"It felt funny at the time and still does a bit under pressure but I need to keep hitting balls and trying to make it feel more comfortable. It's definitely a step in the right direction and hopefully this is a turning point."

Asked if it would be easy to keep calm over the weekend, the former Scottish amateur champion admitted: "Probably not. I have my brother caddying for me who is pretty laid-back but it will be new for me being out in one of the last groups on the European Tour.

"But that's why we play the game, you want to try and get better every week. I'm looking forward to it because it's what we practice for."

Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger, who needs to finish 12th or better to move into the world's top 60 and qualify for next week's US Open, is in a share of 17th on five under after a 71.

Former tennis world number one Yevgeny Kafelnikov missed the cut by 20 shots after rounds of 84 and 80.

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