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Golf: Lafeber is eyeing a first win.

IN-FORM Dutchman Maarten Lafeber is again in pole position to claim his maiden tour title after hitting a second successive 66 to go four shots clear at the BMW Asian Open in Ta wan The 28-year-old former Dutch, Swiss and Spanish amateur champion has been in superb form in recent weeks, finishing in the top 25 of his last six events.

But after hitting five birdies and an eagle in his six-under round to stand on 132 at the halfway stage, Lafeber will perhaps be feeling a certain deja vu as he surveys the leaderboard tonight. Twice in the last six weeks he has led tournaments after 36 holes - after starting both the Lancome Trophy and the Madrid Open with a pair of 65s - but has fallen away badly both times as the finishing line neared.

This time he has a greater cushion however, with Padraig Harrington and Trevor Immelman back on eight-under 136.

Harrington will be much the more disappointed of those two after his 70, and afterwards the Irishman bemoaned an ``opportunity missed'' particularly as he again had an excellent start over the Ta Shee course. The Ryder Cup star had been at his pin-point best in firing a six-under 66 on the opening day - a flawless round in squalid conditions during which he had a birdie putt on all 18 holes.

Overnight leader Jyoti Randhawa was one of the afternoon starters but he fell away to three under with an eight on the long 14th.

American Andrew Pitts and Australian Adrian Percey lie five shots off the pace in joint fourth, with Scotland's Simon Yates among those on six under.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 22, 2002
Words:273
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