Warren Stays Atop Austrian Open As Scott Now Seek To End Six-Year Winless Run.

Marc Warren continues to carry his own clubs as the Scot looks to end a six-year winless drought in the Austrian Open near Vienna.

Warren, 39 grabbed four birdies in a second round five-under 67 to into a share of fourth place at nine-under par in the joint European and Challenge Tour event.

The Glaswegian,  and among a good few players without caddies under a special COVID-19 Tour ruling, heads to the weekend rounds in his first competitive event in some five months sharing fourth place with fellow Scot Craig Howie (69) along with Dutchman Joost Luiten (70), Italian Renato Paratore (67) and Germany’s Nicolai Von Dellingshausen.

Spain’s evergreen Miguel Angel Jimenez, and the oldest player in the Austrian field at age 56 years and six months, leads the way by two shots at 11-under par with scores of 68 and 65.

The golfer affectionately known as ‘The Mechanic’ already holds the record as the oldest Tour winner being aged 50 years, 133 days old when he won the 2014 Open de Espana and adding to efforts in landing a 34th pro career victory is Jimenez’s familiarity with all things Austrian.

He said:  “It’s relaxing being here. I lived here for a few years, my wife is from here. Now we live in the Dominican but I’ve been a resident here for four years, now on the Champions Tour I moved mybase, but I love the place.

“I love Austria and Vienna. We have a house in Bad Waltersdorf. When I’m not competing, we’re in this part of the world; we spend time here, time in Malaga, I’m a world citizen (smiling)”.

Warren has not tasted success since capturing a third Tour title at the 2014 Made in Denmark and with the win sending him to a career high of 64th on the World Rankings and teeing-up in the Austrian hills, he’s slid to 1,258th in the rankings.

He said:  “The course was calm and you could make a few birdies early on so overall, it was a pretty solid day, nothing overly spectacular but pleased with a solid round again.

“So, with no caddy this week there’s no one to moan at if you get a club wrong. It’s trying to keep on top of the other stuff, making sure there’s water in the bag – especially in conditions like today – which I’ve been taking for granted over the last 15 or so years.

“Next time I’ve got a caddie on the bag I might go a little easier on him (laughing).”

Former Scottish Amateur champ Howie continues to impress in birding four of his opening six holes, and while he posted three bogeys over his closing 12 holes, the 25-year capped his round with an eagle at the par-5 16th.

He said:  “I have zero expectations this week, I still do. My game isn’t really amazing, if I’m honest. It’s not as sharp as I’d hope to be expected but then I’m putting the ball really well.  So, we’re doing well and it must have something to do with doing quarantine right in Scotland.”

Syme, who was runner-up on the Austrian course two years, will head into Saturday’ round three celebrating his 25th birthday.

OTHER SCOTS —- (Halfway cut 143)

Craig Ross – 140;  Scott Henry – 142; Chris Robb – 148; Ewen Ferguson – 149;



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