Fiano - English 39-year-old veteran Richard
Bland put himself in contention for a first European Tour title when a
late birdie charge gave him a one-shot lead at the midway point of the
Italian Open on Friday.
Bland carded a six under par 66 for the
second round to stand at 12 under with France's Gregory Bourdy, Spaniard
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, South Africa's Garth Mulroy and Scot Marc
Warren all one shot back.
Bland admitted that he needs a good
performance this weekend to help retain his Tour place -- he currently
lies 126th on The Race to Dubai, with only the top 115 keeping their
"I've had a tough couple of years, but that's behind me now
and I'm just trying to move forward and improve every day," said Bland
who birdied the last three holes.
"There's still 36 holes to go -
all it is right now is a great position. There are great players behind
me, it's low scoring, so two 70s isn't going to get it done."
There were solid performances from members of Europe's Ryder Cup team taking part in the Italian Open.
Kaymer's 66 took him to eight under - just three behind the leaders -
while Francesco Molinari is only one stroke further back after a 69.
Nicolas Colsaerts compiled a 67 to advance to six under for the week,
while there was a second straight 70 put Ryder Cup skipper Jose Maria
Olazabal.Leading second round scores in the Italian Open at Royal Park I Roveri, Turin, on Friday (par 72):
132 - Richard Bland (ENG) 66-66
133 - Marc Warren (SCO) 68-65, Garth Mulroy (RSA) 66-67, Gregory Bourdy (FRA) 69-64, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (ESP) 68-65
134 - Richard McEvoy (ENG) 66-68
- Mikael Lundberg (SWE) 70-65, Joel Sjoholm (SWE) 64-71, Joakim
Lagergren (SWE) 70-65, Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 66-69, Sam Little (ENG)
67-68, Richard Sterne (RSA) 67-68, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) 69-66
- Shiv Kapur (IND) 67-69, Robert Coles (ENG) 70-66, David Howell (ENG)
66-70, Martin Kaymer (GER) 70-66, Darren Fichardt (RSA) 69-67, Lee
Slattery (ENG) 65-71, Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP) 67-69, Bradley
137 - Francesco Molinari (ITA) 68-69, Hennie
Otto (RSA) 70-67, Thomas Aiken (RSA) 70-67, Gareth Maybin (NIR) 66-71,
Phillip Price (WAL) 68-69, Alex Cejka (GER) 67-70, Scott Jamieson (SCO)
68-69, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 67-70, Graeme Storm (ENG) 69-68, Thomas
Norret (DEN) 70-67, Shane Lowry (IRL) 70-67, Keith Horne (RSA) 66-71,
Lorenzo Gagli (ITA) 69-68, Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 70-67