Friday, September 14, 2012

FIANO, Italy (AP) - England's Richard Bland birdied his final three holes for a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke lead Friday after the second round of the Italian Open.

The 39-year-old Bland, winless in 15 seasons on the European Tour, had a 12-under 132 total at Royal Park I Roveri. France's Gregory Bourdy, Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, South Africa's Garth Mulroy and Scotland's Marc Warren were tied for second. Bourdy had a 64, Fernandez-Castano and Warren shot 65, and Mulroy had a 67.

The three European Ryder Cup players in the field had solid rounds. Germany's Martin Kaymer was 8 under after a 66. Italy's Francesco Molinari was 7 under after a 69, and Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts was 6 under after a 67. Italian teenager Matteo Manassero also was 6 under after a 69.

Bland is 126th on the money list, with only the top 115 keeping their tour cards for 2013.

``I've had a tough couple of years, but that's behind me now and I'm just trying to move forward and improve every day,'' Bland said. ``When it wasn't going my way on the front nine, I didn't panic. I knew there were chances out there and it was just a question of waiting. I don't go for the panic button which I might have done five or six years ago.

``There are still 36 holes to go, all it is right now is a great position. There are great players behind me and it's low scoring. I'll probably have to shoot 10 under from here, but that's a good thing. You've got to keep making birdies. You have to keep your foot on the accelerator.''

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