Hed takes one-shot lead

Updated: May 7, 2010, 2:30 PM ET
Associated Press

TORINO, Italy -- Fredrik Andersson Hed shot 6-under 66 at the Italian Open on Friday to build a one-shot lead over a five-man group that includes Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Hed was at 8-under after his second round, just ahead of Jimenez and Spaniards Alejandro Canizares and Ignacio Garrido, Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium and Hennie Otto of South Africa.

The biggest story of the weekend, though, might be 17-year-old phenom Matteo Manassero.

Making his professional debut, the Italian shot a second straight 2-under 70 and is only four shots off the lead heading into the weekend at his national tournament.

"I am not far off the lead," Manassero said. "I am dreaming a little about winning this tournament and if I keep playing like this I could be close. ... I am very happy with how I am going. I have made my first cut and now I am in contention. I am playing well enough to be in contention and I am happy about my game heading into the weekend."

Any lingering doubts about Manassero's immense potential have been quickly erased in Torino, where he would have been even closer to the lead if not for one bad hole in the second round.

After climbing the leaderboard with four birdies, Manassero drove into the rough at the par-4 16th. He put his approach shot into a greenside bunker and was forced to take double bogey.

"That was my one bad hole," Manassero said. "But I felt my game was good enough to be 5- or 6-under at the end."

Scheduling could become something of a problem for Manassero if he finishes in the top 10 and qualifies to play in next week's Mallorca Open. The high school student is due back in Verona next week for final exams.

Manassero's rookie status means he's only allowed seven invitations to play on the European Tour this year, and he'll need to make the most of them. It will take roughly $320,000 in earnings to secure full playing privileges for next season.

All the attention on Manassero has allowed Hed to quietly make his mark.

He began his second round in steady rain and didn't make his move until the par-4 14th, when he holed out his approach shot for an eagle. He followed that with a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-3 15th.

"I think that is the first time in my career that I have had two successive 2s on my card," said the 38-year-from Halmstad, who was still looking for his first victory after 14 years on the European Tour.

"And the next hole, the 16th, was interesting, too," he said. "I put my approach in a bunker but my recovery shot actually landed in the hole but sadly the ball bounced out."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE