Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal has boosted hopes of a second BMW International Open success in three years with a blistering score of 63 to move into a four-way tie for the second-round lead.
Larrazabal didn’t drop a shot in perfect scoring conditions and capped his round with five birdies in succession from his fourth hole on the Gut Larcenhof course near Cologne.
The 31-year old Barcelona golfer, who defeated fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia in 2011 in Munich, joined England’s Danny Willett and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello, each with four-under-par 68s, atop of the board at 12-under par.
The trio were then joined by 21-year old Argentinian Emiliano Grillo, who signed off for a six-under-par 66.
“There is a no more trouble on this course than where I won in Munich,” said Larrazabal.
“But with all the guys out there shooting low you just have to keep going and make as many birdies as you can.
“So it’s all about continuing to play well and holing the birdie putts.
“I also can’t think about winning this event again and my focus is that there is 36 holes to play and 36 birdies to be made.”
The current world number 61, Larrazbal broke through for a maiden Tour title in capturing the 2008 French Open after having to go through a 36-hole qualifier on the Monday prior to the start of the event.
Larrazabal celebrated his win being dosed in champagne and then jumping into the water guarding the 18th green where the 2018 Ryder Cup will be staged.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, winner also in Munich a decade ago, continued to boost claims for Ryder Cup selection with a second straight score of 67 to move to a clubhouse share of fifth place on 10-under par.
The 50-year-old Spaniard is just three spots outside of automatically qualifying for a fifth European Team cap.
And a third former BMW International Open winner in American John Daly, who won the event in 2001, shot a five under par 67 to move inside the top-20 at seven-under par.
Daly revealed he also will be contesting next month’s Scottish Open as well as the following week’s (British) Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.