Three-way tie at the top as Garcia hits ace


Henrik Stenson is one of three players locked in a tie for the lead of the BMW International Open at the halfway point as Sergio Garcia hit the second hole-in-one of the tournament.

Raphael Jacquelin had led the way by a stroke after Thursday's first round following a seven-under 65.

But world number seven Stenson - a victor at the tournament in 2006 and runner-up 12 months ago - replicated Jacquelin's day-one performance to pull level as the Frenchman matched the Swede's first-round 68, with both players moving to 11 under.

Joining them on that mark is Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who surged into contention with a near-perfect eight-under 64 that featured seven birdies and an eagle at the 13th.

Garcia is six shots off the pace but can at least celebrate having won a seven-night stay at an Hilton HHonors hotel with a superb ace at the 11th, his effort following Richie Ramsay's hole-in-one at the 16th on Thursday.

Masters champion Danny Willett missed the cut despite bouncing back from his two-over 74 with a round of 70, the Englishman suffering more disappointment after finishing the U.S. Open nine over.

Thai Aphibarnrat would have held the outright lead if not for a bogey at the fourth.

Stenson's round was blemish free, meaning he has dropped just one shot across two rounds and is in a strong position to seal a 10th win on the European Tour.

"I came here to really try to put myself in contention and so far, so good; I've done that," Stenson said.

"There's been a few tournaments in this late spring, early summer, where I feel like maybe I've been showing up feeling like I'm working on my game and not been 100 per cent there to compete.

"Now we don't have too many tournaments before the Open Championship, the PGA and the Olympics.

"It's time to put that tournament focus back on and then go out and do a good job. I've done that for two days and I'm going to try to push myself to do it another two."

Stenson's fellow Scandinavian Thorbjorn Olesen is a shot off the lead, the Dane carding his second straight 67 at the Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof in Pulheim.

Zander Lombard is at nine under, with four players - including world number 65 Joost Luiten - in a tie for sixth at seven under.