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Golf: Three seize halfway lead at Ballantine's

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Australian Wade Ormsby and Thais Arnond Vongvanij and Kiradech Aphibarnrat seized the halfway lead at the weather-interrupted Ballantine's Championship on Saturday.

Ormsby and Arnond had shared the overnight clubhouse lead at seven-under 137 at the par-72 Blackstone Golf Club. Ormsby carded a 67 and Arnond came in with a 69, before the rain-shortened second round was halted Friday.

Kiradech joined them with a 66 in his second round play on Saturday, scoring five birdies and an eagle, along with a bogey.

Both Ormsby and Arnond are seeking their first European Tour wins. Kiradech earned his maiden European victory in his last tour appearance in Malaysia, and will try to become the first player in more than a year to win in consecutive European appearances.

"I got experience and a lot of confidence to come here this week," Kiradech said.

"But the weather is quite different from Malaysia. I was quite lucky in the second round; the wind was quite quiet. I know I can make a score and my form is good from Malaysia. My driver and putter are both great so hopefully I can stick to the game plan."

Lurking one stroke behind the leaders were: Alexander Noren of Sweden, James Morrison of England, South African Jbe Kruger, Scot Stephen Gallacher and Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara.

Gallacher birdied his last two holes for a 68 on Saturday. He is chasing a second European Tour win of 2013. Lara also ended his second round with back-to-back birdies for a round of 67.

Missing the even par cut were European Ryder Cup veterans Thomas Bjorn, Paul Casey and Edoardo Molinari.

Raphael Jacquelin, winner of last week's Spanish Open after a nine-hole playoff, missed the weekend play by two strokes.

Paul McGinley, European Ryder Cup captain for 2014, made his first cut in four European Tour events this year. He birdied his last hole for a 70 to reach one-under for the tournament.

str/mtp

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130427/golf-three-seize-halfway-lead-at-ballantines