PULHEIM, Germany (AP) — Joel Sjoholm twice chipped in for eagle in shooting a 6-under 66 Friday to lead by two strokes at the halfway mark of the BMW International Open.
The Chilean-born Swede has already caught the eye with his knickerbockers and colorful attire, and his eagles at No. 7 and No. 12 were even more attention-grabbing.
“This is the first time as a pro I’ve been in the lead, and I’m just enjoying it so much,” said Sjoholm, who has two top-10 finishes in 2012 after joining the European Tour last year. “It’s a great feeling to be leading and in a great tournament. I’ve always enjoyed playing in Germany.”
Former Ryder Cup player Paul McGinley, looking to end a seven-year winless run, shot a 70 to share second place with three others. After hitting a 65 on Thursday, his lowest first-round score since 2005, the Irishman’s 36-hole starting tally is his best in two years.
“It was much tougher today with the wind, and a good test of golf,” he said. “But the new technology in the game now is just helping my game so much such as the last hole where I was able to chop a rescue club out of the rough and get it to the side of the green, and try and get up-and-down. In the past I would be hitting 5-iron and there’s no way I would have got it anywhere near the green.”
Joining McGinley at 9 under is England pair Danny Willett (70) and Chris Wood (70) and Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti (71).
Andrew Marshall hit a hole-in-one at No. 17 to win a BMW 6 Series coupe. It was the Englishman’s first ace in more than 220 events since joining the Tour in 2001.
“The shot was pure blind luck because I got the yardage wrong yesterday and after Miko (Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg) went long, I changed clubs,” Marshall said. “I thought I hit it too well but then everyone went bananas. It was into the sun and I didn’t see it but the roar was awesome.”
Martin Kaymer (73), the 2010 PGA winner, plus former Ryder Cup player Paul Casey of England (74) and two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen (75) all missed the cut.