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Golf: Dredge leading charge.

BRITONS Oliver Wilson and Bradley Dredge were separated by just a stroke after Friday's second round of the European Masters and set for an engrossing battle over the weekend.

The pair are rivals for a place in Nick Faldo's Seve Trophy team against Seve Ballesteros's Europe later this month with defending champion Dredge heading the table race for the trophy match while Wilson is leading at Cranssur-Sierre.

A strong finish to his frost-affected first round in the morning, when Wilson picked up three shots in his four remaining holes, took him to a sixunder 65, a stroke ahead of Dredge.

After a 30-minute turnaround, Wilson then added a 66 to set an 11-under 131 target.

Dredge, with an opening eagle, responded with 66 also to finish only a stroke behind his trophy rival.

Englishman Wilson and Dredge from Wales, have both had second places this year but the leader is also seeking his maiden title in his third year on tour.

Wilson, like Dredge a former Walker Cup player, said he realised the importance of the weekend.

"I'd love to play in the Seve Trophy," Wilson told a news conference. "I've not played a team event since I was an amateur and I feel if I make it then it will be a reward for my season and a next step up in my career."

Wilson needs to overtake Dredge and fellow-Englishman Nick Dougherty by the end of next week's Mercedes Benz Championship in Cologne to play for Faldo, who also captains the Ryder Cup side.

"If I did make the Seve Trophy team it will be great experience," Wilson added.

Dredge, though, is determined to hold on to his title and his place in the Seve Trophy reckoning.

"I've not played that great for two rounds but managed to put two good scores together," Dredge told a news conference. "If I can improve my iron play I feel I can win.

Australian Brett Rumford lies third, three shots adrift of Wilson, while 53-year-old Eduardo Romero is still in the running at six strokes back.

CAPTION(S):

CHAMPION: Dredge
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 8, 2007
Words:349
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