MADRID (AP) — England’s Lee Slattery shot a 6-under 66 Friday to lead the Madrid Masters by one shot after the second round.
Slattery had seven birdies and one bogey at El Encin Golf Hotel to finish at 11 under. He leads Spain’s Eduardo de la Riva and Italy’s Francesco Molinari, who each shot 67.
First-round leader and 2009 champion Ross McGowan of England followed his opening 64 with a 72 to trail by three strokes.
Defending champion and top-ranked Luke Donald of England pulled within three shots of the lead at one point. But he fell back with two bogeys in the final three holes for a 70 and is five shots back.
Slattery, who lost his tour card in 2007, is in danger of falling off the main tour this season. But the 33-year-old rolled in an 80-foot birdie putt at the 14th before finishing with two straight birdies.
“I don’t think I’ve ever walked off the course feeling so relaxed,” Slattery said. “This suits me because I just enjoy it and don’t think too much. That’s the key.”
Americans Anthony Kang (73) and John Daly (74) are well behind the field.
Donald mentioned the windy conditions when discussing his round.
“A disappointing finish, but it’s not easy with the wind,” Donald said. “I played well the tougher holes and then I played the easy ones poorly. A couple of bad swings, really. “
McGowan struggled with the greens one day after making 10 birdies, including five in a row on Nos. 9-13.
“They are playing quicker today and I didn’t really get the speed at all,” he said. “After yesterday’s scoring, the pins are tucked in and the wind picked up, so it’s a bit tougher.”