Stenson charges into tie for Germany lead

The Swede joins overnight leader Raphael Jacquelin and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat atop the leaderboard on 11 under par after carding seven birdies in Pulheim.

World No. 7 Stenson, who won this title in 2006, is looking to go one better than in the last two editions of this tournament, after following up a 2014 playoff defeat with another runner-up effort last year.   -  AP

Henrik Stenson fired a flawless seven-under-par 65 on Friday to surge into a tie for the lead at the halfway stage of the BMW International Open in Germany.

The Swede joins overnight leader Raphael Jacquelin and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat atop the leaderboard on 11 under par after carding seven birdies in Pulheim.

But World No. 52 Aphibarnrat went one better with a stunning second round of 64, including four birdies and an eagle on the back nine.

Experienced Frenchman Jacquelin, who led on seven under after the opening day, settled for a 68.

Stenson's playing partner and Masters champion Danny Willett missed the cut by one stroke, despite partially recovering from a poor first round to reach level par.

World No. 7 Stenson, who won this title in 2006, is looking to go one better than in the last two editions of this tournament, after following up a 2014 playoff defeat with another runner-up effort last year.

"I came here to really try to put myself in contention and so far, so good; I've done that," he told the European Tour website.

"There's been a few tournaments in this late spring, early summer, where I feel like maybe I've been showing up feeling like I'm working on my game and not been 100 percent there to compete.

"Now we don't have too many tournaments before the Open Championship, the PGA and the Olympics."

Jacquelin, 42, mixed five birdies with a single bogey as he seeks a fifth European Tour title, but first since 2013.

"It's always good to shoot a solid round after a good 65," he said.

"That gave me some confidence for the weekend and put me right up there. The rest, I'll try my best to shoot low again, and we'll see at the end of the weekend."

The 26-year-old Aphibarnrat won three times last season but has not had a top-10 finish since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in the United States in March.

"This card is about the first shot," he beamed. "You put yourself in the fairways, you have opportunities to make a lot of birdies, and my putter was working better than yesterday."

Enigmatic Spaniard Sergio Garcia had a typically topsy-turvy day.

The World No. 12 soared into contention with five birdies and a hole-in-one on the par-three 11th hole, only to drop back to six shots behind the leaders after two bogeys and a double bogey in the last five holes.

Defending champion Pablo Larrazabal is tied for sixth place.