Mulroy one off the lead in Italian Open
South Africa's Garth Mulroy is in joint second place after shooting a 5-under-par 67 in the second round of the Italian Open on Friday.
Mulroy is on 11 under par, one stroke behind leader Richard Bland of England.
Still seeking his first victory in his 15th season on the European Tour, Bland birdied his final three holes for a 6-under 66 for the second consecutive day to stand 12 under on the 7 282-yard Royal Park I Roveri course outside Turin.
The 39-year-old Bland's best career result was second at the Irish Open a decade ago.
Mulroy shares second place with Gregory Bourdy of France, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain and Marc Warren of Scotland, while Richard McEvoy of England was alone at 10 under.
First-round leader Joel Sjoholm of Sweden was among seven players three shots behind.
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All three Ryder Cup players in the field had solid rounds. Martin Kaymer's 66 took him to 8 under, Francesco Molinari was one stroke further back after a 69, and big-hitting Nicolas Colsaerts had a 67 to reach 6 under.
Italian teenager Matteo Manassero was also at 6 under, while Europe Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal was two shots further back and set for the weekend.
The Ryder Cup will be held in two weeks at Medinah Country Club outside Chicago.
Bland needs a solid result to retain his place on next year's tour. He's currently ranked 126th, with only the top 115 keeping their cards.
"I've had a tough couple of years, but that's behind me now and I'm just trying to move forward and improve every day," said Bland, who retained this year's tour card through qualifying school. "When it wasn't going my way on the front nine, I didn't panic. I knew there were chances out there and it was just a question of waiting. I don't go for the panic button which I might have done five or six years ago.
"There are still 36 holes to go, all it is right now is a great position," Bland added. "There are great players behind me and it's low scoring. I'll probably have to shoot 10 under from here, but that's a good thing. You've got to keep making birdies. You have to keep your foot on the accelerator."