Wilson takes lead into weekend in Portugal
Madeira, Portugal (Sports Network) - Oliver Wilson carded a seven-under 65 on Friday to jump into first place after two rounds of the Madeira Islands Open.
Wilson, who hasn't recorded a bogey through 36 holes at Santo da Serra Golf Club, sits at 13-under par 131 and holds a one-stroke lead over three players. Magnus A. Carlsson and Joakim Lagergren both shot six-under 66 to reach minus-12, while Andy Sullivan fired a 64 to get to the same score.
Sihwan Kim (66) is alone in fifth at 10-under.
The tournament has a somewhat unlikely leader in Wilson, who has struggled this season. He has missed the cut four times in eight tournaments, and hasn't finished better than a tie for 26th.
"There's a long way to go and the scoring will carry on being low, but I'll keep pushing on trying to make birdies," Wilson said. "There will inevitably be some mistakes at the weekend but it's just a question of trying to limit them. You've got to be patient."
The Englishman has been extremely patient when it comes to waiting for his first win. A member of the European Ryder Cup team in 2008, Wilson has finished second nine times on the European Tour.
But Wilson is in good position heading into the weekend, thanks to a spectacular round Friday.
Whereas he went five holes before sinking his first birdie in the first round, Wilson drained two in a row to begin his round, which started at the 10th tee.
He made two more in a row from the 15th to make the turn at 10-under, then rolled one in at the first and third. Wilson's final birdie came at the eighth, and he parred the last to head into the clubhouse as the leader.
"I actually feel like I left a few out there today. I missed three putts from inside six feet," Wilson said. "But I made a couple of really good par saves - not from bad shots, just because the course is tricky."
The seven birdies he did make Friday were just enough to separate himself from the logjam in second place.
Carlsson also began at the 10th tee and reached nine-under thanks to birdies at 11, 14 and 16. However, the Swede ended his back nine with back-to-back bogeys, so by the time he ran off three birdies in a row to start the front nine, the stretch got him only to minus-10. He sank two more birdies, including one at his last, to climb into a share of second.
Lagergren, on the other hand, turned in a mistake-free round that included three birdies on both the front and back nines.
Sullivan kick-started his round with an eagle at 11, his second hole, then managed consecutive birdies from the 13th to reach minus-eight. He birdied just one of his next 10 holes, but made three in succession to conclude his round.
NOTES: First-round leader Alvaro Velasco shot even-par 72 to remain at eight- under. He sits in a tie for 10th...Carlsson, Lagergren and Sullivan have never won on the European Tour...The cut fell at three-under 141...Robert Dinwiddie withdrew Friday.
05/11 15:21:12 ET