BMW International has four-way tie after 36 holes
Cologne, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Danny Willett, who shared the lead after the first round of the BMW International Open, were joined by Pablo Larrazabal and Emiliano Grillo atop the leaderboard following Friday's second round.
Cabrera-Bello and Willett both fired 4-under 68s on Friday, while Larrazabal and Grillo shot 63 and 66, respectively. They all stand at 12-under 132 for the tournament and are two shots up heading into the weekend at Golf Club Gut Larchenhof.
Larrazabal is the most recent winner on tour of the four tied for the lead, with his last victory coming at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship earlier this year. Cabrera-Bello and Willet have not won since 2012, while Grillo is seeking his first career win.
Six more players sit at 10-under 134 and go into the weekend trailing by two shots. Of those players at 10-under, Alex Cejka, Andreas Harto, Robert Karlsson and Craig Lee carded 66s on the day. Branden Grace and Miguel Angel Jimenez finished the day with 67s.
A total of 24 players are all within four shots of the lead, with eight tied at 9-under par. Ten players are also in a logjam at 8-under, including world No. 2 Henrik Stenson.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer could not find his stroke this week. He finished at even-par and missed the cut.
Larrazabal tied for the best round of the day, draining nine birdies without carding a bogey.
Starting the day on the back nine, Larrazabal made three pars to start his round before rattling off five straight birdies from 13, putting him at 8- under for the week. Two more pars at 18 and one preceded two more birdies at Nos. 2 and 3. Larrazabal added his last two birdies on five and eight.
"I played great today. I played great yesterday. Yesterday, I couldn't hole too many putts, but today I holed a couple at the beginning of the round and helped me to keep it going," Larrazabal said. "My irons are great. They've been great these couple days. It's all about putting yourself in birdie chances and try to make some putts."
Grillo also had a strong day with seven birdies and just one bogey. Grillo started off strong on the front nine with birdies at two, three, five and seven before making the turn with pars at Nos. 8, 9 and 10.
Another birdie at 11 was followed by Grillo's first bogey of the day at 12, but he got that shot right back with a birdie at 13 to move him to 11-under. Grillo added his final birdie at No. 17, giving him his second 66 in as many rounds.
Willett, starting on the back nine, played a bogey-free round with birdies at 15, two, four and seven to keep him in a tie for the lead.
Cabrera-Bello also played the back nine first, and he made birdie at 13, 15, 17, one and three. Cabrera-Bello tripped to a bogey at No. 7, dropping him back to 12-under. He parred the final two holes to end there.
"I'm pleased with my score, but more pleased with the way I played," Cabrera- Bello said. "I felt I played really solid today. I was a little unlucky coming down the last few holes, but overall pleased with the minus-4."
NOTES: Willett's last win on tour came at this event in 2012, where he finished at 11-under ... Kaymer also missed the cut at this event in 2012, where he ended two rounds at even-par 144 ... The cut was set at 4-under par, with 69 players advancing to the weekend.
06/27 15:12:42 ET