Luiten jumps into lead in Austria
Atzenbrugg, Austria (Sports Network) - Joost Luiten carded a 4-under 68 on Friday to jump into the lead of the Lyoness Open.
Luiten finished 36 holes at Diamond Country Club at 11-under-par 133.
"I hit some nice shots in close for birdie," said Luiten. "I didn't make as many putts as yesterday, but I'm really happy with the score. On this course you know you're going to make a few bogeys, but there are a lot of chances for birdie as well. You just have to try to stay patient and I think I did that well today."
Eduardo De La Riva tied the low round of the day with a 7-under 65 to grab a share of second place with Callum Macaulay (66) and Paul Waring (67) at minus-10.
Hennie Otto also shot 65 to move into a tie for fourth place with Romain Wattel (68) at 8-under.
First-round leader Tom Lewis tripped to a 2-over 74 on Friday to fall into a group of players occupying seventh at minus-7.
Luiten started on the back nine and traded a birdie at the 10th with a bogey at the 11th.
After bouncing back with a pair of birdies at the 13th and 16th, the Dutchman closed his outward nine with a bogey at the 18th to make the turn at 8-under for the tournament.
But he would not drop another shot for the rest of the day and poured in birdies at Nos. 1, 4 and 7 to head into the clubhouse with the lead.
"The greens are great, maybe the best of the season," Luiten stated about the course. "They've had a lot of rain but they're still probably the best greens we've played on this year. They hold the shots going in and they are quick."
De La Riva was the last of the second-place finishers to take the course and opened with an eagle at the par-5 10th and a birdie at the 11th.
He cooled a bit from there with eight straight pars before tripping to a bogey at the second.
But he bounced back with three straight birdies from the third and later notched in back-to-back gains at the eighth and ninth to move to 10-under.
"I've played very good in some tournaments, but I've had some problems with my putter. With some good work it's better, today I putted very well and I'm very happy," said De Le Riva.
Macaulay, who has made just one cut in eight events this season since graduating from Qualifying School, also teed off in the back nine and started quickly with three birdies over his first four holes.
He followed another birdie at the 17th with a bogey at the 18th, and later poured in three straight birdies from the sixth to finish a stroke off the pace.
"I've had a really poor start to the season and I've worked exceptionally hard to improve, but things haven't been going my way," Macaulay said. "This sport can change in a heartbeat and you have to keep plodding along hoping things will turn. This is a big step in the right direction."
Waring picked up shots at the first and third before catching fire with a streak of three straight birdies from the ninth to pull within a stroke of Luiten.
He failed to hang onto a share of the lead twice as he followed birdies at the 13th and 15th with bogeys at Nos. 14 and 16 to finish at 10-under.
NOTES: Luiten is seeking his second career win on the European Tour and his first since the 2011 Johor Open ... Defending Champion Bernd Wiesberger needs to finish inside the top 12 to move into the top 60 of the world rankings and qualify for next week's U.S. Open. He currently sits in a share of 17th at 5- under ... The cut line was set at even-par 144, with 71 players advancing into the weekend.
06/07 14:40:25 ET