Rumford sets the pace in Austria

For the second time in three weeks Australian Brett Rumford was the man to catch when the Austrian Open began in Vienna today.

The 32-year-old from Perth, who began the European Masters in Switzerland with a nine-under-par 62 before slipping back to 32nd, this time fired a seven-under 64 to lead England's Phillip Archer and Mark Foster by one.

Rumford, chasing his fourth European Tour victory, had four birdies in the first seven holes to turn in 31, then picked up further strokes at the 11th, 12th and 16th.

Archer also had seven birdies, but ran up a bogey six on the long 15th, while Foster birdied no fewer than eight holes, but bogeyed the 14th and fourth.

Two years ago Archer was unbeaten as Britain and Ireland beat Continental Europe in the Seve Trophy, but he has slumped to 156th on the money list this year and needs a big finish to the year to keep his Tour card.

At 105th Foster is still fighting to secure his immediate future as well, having failed to manage a single top-15 finish all year.

Spaniard Pablo Martin, another battling to preserve his place on the circuit, returned a five-under 66 to be tied for fourth with another Australian, Chris Gaunt.

Former Open champion Paul Lawrie and last year's runner-up Simon Wakefield were part of the group on three under, but double Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, who received a late invitation to the event, had to be content with a one under 70.

Ryder Cup Dane Soren Hansen, the only member of the world's top 50 taking part, and Welshman Bradley Dredge, second in Switzerland, were among the later starters.

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