Zanotti leads 2nd round of French Open by 1 shot
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (AP) — Fabrizio Zanotti shot a 3-under 68 Friday to lead by one stroke after the second round of the French Open.
Zanotti made four birdies and a bogey on the Albatross course of Le Golf National to total 6-under 136. Ranked 391st in the world, the Paraguayan has three runner-up finishes in his career and finished 40th at last year’s French Open.
“On a course like this, I think that you have to accept everything,” Zanotti said. “It’s playing very tough and the greens are getting hard, so it’s going to be very hard. Like I said, keep patient and have fun. There is no other way, I think.”
Richard Sterne (69) of South Africa and Danish pair Thomas Bjorn (69) and Soren Kjeldsen (68) were a shot back in a share of second.
Bjorn could have taken sole possession of the lead but he bogeyed his last two holes. The Dane went into this tournament on the back of runner-up performances at the Lyoness Open last month in Austria and at the BMW International Open in Munich.
Kjeldsen has not had a top-10 finish this year but credited an improved mindset for his two good rounds in France.
“In the beginning of the year, I was putting too much pressure on myself,” he said. “Recently, I’ve just taken the top away from that, so it seems like I’m enjoying it a little bit more and staying a little bit more patient.”
Graeme McDowell (69) of Northern Ireland, Stephen Gallacher (70) of Scotland and English duo Simon Dyson (68) and Graeme Storm (68) are two shots off the pace.
McDowell is rediscovering his form after missing the cut in the last three tournaments he played.
“It’s been a rough couple months for me,” he said. “Not really been playing the kind of golf I’d like to play, and the key this week was to come and try to get myself in the mix for the weekend and get some of the juices flowing again.”
Rising star Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark, defending champion Marcel Siem of Germany and past winners Thomas Levet of France and Pablo Larrazabal of Spain missed the cut.
Former No. 1 Martin Kaymer of Germany (76) and Englishmen Ian Poulter (71) and Luke Donald (73) were eight shots back and will need an outstanding weekend to get back into contention.
Overnight leader Anders Hansen of Denmark dropped four shots on his first four holes and finished with a 78 to fall to joint 44th.
Belgian Thomas Pieters, ranked 1,560th in the world, carded a 72 to make the cut in his European Tour debut. The 21-year-old turned pro last month.