In-form Willett leads from the front again

Sheffield's Danny Willett leads the Omega European Masters (Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire).
Sheffield's Danny Willett leads the Omega European Masters (Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire).
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Danny Willett’s impressive form carried on in the Swiss Alps as he claimed a one-shot lead on the second day of the Omega European Masters.

The Yorkshireman was in the running for the Claret Jug at 
St Andrews last week after two rounds, eventually finishing four shots off winner Zach Johnson, and his hot streak continued in Crans yesterday.

Willett’s 62 meant he matched the low-36 hole tournament record score of 127 but 36 players were unable to finish their second round as electrical storms brought a premature end to play.

The 27-year-old from Sheffield opened with three birdies and reached the turn in 30 before continuing to make hay down the back nine, despite a bogey on the 12th, to clinch a slender advantage over the South Korean pair of Yang Yong-eun and Baek Seuk-hyun.

“I had a couple of bad swings coming down the last two holes but it was a very good day,” said Willett after moving to 13 under par.

“To get out and birdie the first three in a row, which are the not easiest holes on the course, and then I just kept going – playing some good golf, hitting it in there pretty close and holing out inside 10 to 12 feet.

“It’s always a low scoring week, you know that, and mentally that’s quite good. You can’t just let up and shoot level par and that be good enough.

“You’ve got to take the golf course on because probably somewhere near 20 under par is going to be winning.

“So you’ve got to go out there and keep making birdies.”

Yang’s 63 made him the pick of the early starters and he entered the clubhouse with a three-shot lead before Baek joined his compatriot on 12-under thanks to a second blemish-free round.

Marcus Kinhult ended on nine-under and overnight leader Gregory Havret, who had a hole-in-one and an eagle over his first 18, only picked up one stroke yesterday and finished the 36 holes on eight- under alongside fellow Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin, Rikard Karlberg, Richard Green, David Lipsky and Marcus Fraser.

Havret only held the lead on Thursday night because Tyrrell Hatton found water en route to a triple bogey to close out his first round.

But the Englishman put that behind him with a blistering start yesterday, turning in 30 to take the lead before dropping four shots in eight holes.

Lee Westwood is three under after a 69 while Sergio Garcia carded a 70 to stand at one under.