Hedblom surges to three-shot lead

Swede Peter Hedblom raced into a three-shot lead at the BMW International Open in Munich today – as Lee Westwood wondered what was going to happen to him next.

Swede Peter Hedblom raced into a three-shot lead at the BMW International Open in Munich today – as Lee Westwood wondered what was going to happen to him next.

Hedblom, one behind pacesetters David Howell, Gary Evans, Garry Houston and Martin Erlandsson overnight, birdied four of his first seven holes to reach eight under par.

Ryder Cup hopeful Westwood, on the other hand, hooked his opening drive into a ditch and then saw the reason why.

His driver had suffered a hairline crack and so on the next hole the former European number one, suffering from suspected tonsilitis and also being monitored for constant fatigue, asked a rules official to bring him a replacement from his locker.

“What else can go wrong?” asked Westwood, who had double-bogeyed the 10th to drop back to two under.

He is thought to be in line for some good news come Sunday evening, however, when Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam hands out his two wild cards. Westwood and Darren Clarke are the strong favourites.

In the group behind Paul McGinley got off to a shaky start as well, but in his case it followed a 75 rather than a 68 and at four over the Dubliner was heading out of the tournament.

From the right-hand rough on the 10th his second shot hardly got off the ground and only just avoided going into a water hazard. It cost him a bogey, but it might have been worse.

McGinley is 10th in the cup race with just three rounds to go, but although departing with two of those to go would be a worrying blow all three players chasing him – Paul Broadhurst, Johan Edfors and John Bickerton – had to find their best form.

Broadhurst would need to finish third and after four holes today was one over and joint 78th, while Edfors requires first or second and was 64th on level par and Bickerton, who has to win, was one over.

McGinley was playing with compatriot Padraig Harrington, whose position at ninth in the table was looking increasingly secure as he birdied the long 11th, his second, to improve to three under and joint 12th.

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