Alejandro Canizares maintained his spot atop the leaderboard after two days of the 2021 Austrian Golf Open, but he had a two-time major winner breathing down his neck amid cold temps in Atzenbrugg, a suburb of Vienna.
The overnight leader, who entered Friday’s round at Diamond Country Club with a one-shot lead, immediately lost his No. 1 spot after dropping three shots in his opening two holes (bogey- double bogey).
The Spaniard recovered nicely, though, with a hat-trick of gains in the middle portion of his first nine, and from there carded four more birdies against two additional bogeys to sign for a 2-under 70, good for 7-under total at halftime.
“I struggled at the beginning, I then started hitting some great shots, I think the turning point was at the par three 15th hole where I made a long putt for birdie and that triggered it a little bit,” said Canizares, who started his second round on the back nine at Diamond Country Club.
“I started doing very well after that, didn’t make many putts – that was the only one, really. Overall it was a great round.
“I was trying to hit every shot the best that I could because at the start it was really cold and I was feeling it more than yesterday.
Former world No. 1 Martin Kaymer matched Canizares with a 70 to stay one back alongside American John Catlin, who also posted a 2-under par round.
2021 Austrian Golf Open
Top-5 Leaders: Round Two
Pos-Player-To Par-(Rd 2)
1. Alejandro Canizares -7 (-2)
2. Martin Kaymer -6 (-2)
2. John Catlin -6 (-2)
4. Justin Walters -5 (-4)
4. Max Kieffer -5 (-4)
Material from the European Tour Media & Communications was used to compile report.