sport

Stadler extends Paris lead

Kevin Stadler moved three shots clear at the halfway stage of the Open de France after a second-round 68 took him to 10-under-par for the tournament.

Stadler's three-under effort on Friday featured six birdies but was marred by a shank that resulted in a double-bogey seven at his final hole, the par-five ninth.

Nevertheless, the 34-year-old from Nevada - who led by one overnight after a first-round 64 - celebrated American Independence Day by extending his advantage at the top of the leaderboard in Paris.

"I tried to get a little too much out of my third shot on 18 and didn't have the best of lies so I had to hit the shot perfectly and just tried to get a little too steep on it and off it came into the deep stuff," Stadler, who won his maiden PGA Tour title at the Phoenix Open in February, said in reference to the final-hole blip.

"Not exactly how I planned to finish the day but overall it was another good day, so it's all good.

"I definitely didn't expect to be 10 under after two days but I played well in the Pro-Am and I'm obviously very pleased with 10-under through two days.

"It's just a really good golf course, greens are great and I'm certainly enjoying it so far.

"Overall it's a very good day, I don't know if the lead will hold up, there's still half a day to go and the weather's supposed to get nasty the next couple days so we'll have to wait and see."

Victor Riu is Stadler's closest pursuer, the Frenchman signing for a second-round 67 to reach seven-under-par and raise hopes of a first home winner at Le Golf National since Thomas Levet in 2011.

"It's really another great day," said 29-year-old Riu, who is from nearby Saint-Nom-la-Breteche and has yet to win on the European Tour.

"Just one bad note, the bogey I conceded on the 18th hole but for the rest of my game everything functioned really well.

"After a first round that was more or less mediocre, to find myself in the upper part of the leaderboard is almost unbelievable."

Germany's Marcel Siem, who won the event in 2012 and needs a top-10 finish to qualify for the Open at Hoylake later in July, followed his first-round 65 with a five-bogey 72 to sit alone in third at five under.

Defending champion Graeme McDowell finished strongly with birdies at the 11th and 16th in a 69 to get to three-under-par overall, while US Open champion Martin Kaymer shot a one-under 70 to make the cut but now needs to make up nine shots on Stadler over the weekend.