SCOTLAND’S Stephen Gallacher said physiotherapy on his troublesome back had been the key to a “solid round” as he shared the halfway lead with Thomas Bjorn at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.
Gallacher recorded seven birdies in his second round of 65 but a bogey at the 394-yard 18th meant he surrendered the outright lead.
Bjorn, the 2011 champion at Crans-sur-Sierre, also came unstuck at the last and had to settle for six birdies in his 66, which was good enough to lift him to ten under. The pair led the chasing group of Englishmen Danny Willett, Richard Finch and Tommy Fleetwood, France’s Victor Dubuisson and 2010 winner Miguel Angel Jimenez by one stroke. A further shot back were the likes of first-round leader Anirban Lahiri, who managed only a level-par 71, and Paul Casey, with a 69, while three-time major winner Padraig Harrington’s 65 sent him soaring into contention at seven under.
Gallacher has been struggling with a back injury and will take some time off after this week but it did not hamper him too much in the Swiss mountains. “That was a solid round again today,” he said. “I hit the ball really well on the front nine and got my just rewards for the putts and I’m still in there for tomorrow. My back has been a bit sore but I’ve had a lot of physio and it has settled right down. I am having a break after this week to get it properly right.”
Bjorn credited a break of a different kind for his form. “I’ve been struggling technically and there have been some big changes this week because I found myself very poor technically over the last few weeks,” said the Dane. “I’ve gone back to doing it myself and sometimes that’s the best way. Experience seems to come through on this course and that’s what I’m hoping for at the weekend. But you can’t get carried away on this golf course or you will run up big numbers.”