Swede Erlandsson makes maiden title bid with Portugal lead

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VILAMOURA, Portugal, Oct 19 (Reuters) Sweden's Martin Erlandsson set up a maiden victory chance when he took the early second round lead at the Portugal Masters today with a flawless card of four-under 68.

Erlandsson's 12-under 132 halfway total was a stroke better than South African Charl Schwartzel, whose late bogey for a round of 67 denied him a share of the lead.

Another Swede, Peter Hanson, is a further stroke back after the joint-best return of the morning, a 65.

Leader Erlandsson, in his fourth full year on the main tour, has twice come close to breaking through, finishing second in the 2005 Wales Open and third in the Johnnie Walker Championship this season.

The 33-year-old Malmo player is now poised to satisfy his followers and his own mind.

''From growing up I've always been told, 'You have a good swing, good rhythm,' so I'm used to hearing that,'' the leader told reporters.

''But then they say, 'Why don't you win?', and it's all been a little bit frustrating.

''Hopefully I now understand why or why not myself, that's the important thing.

''I had six years on the Challenge Tour but it's getting easier to cope with the full tour now.'' Schwartzel is aiming to add to his 2005 Dunhill Championship title while Hanson won the Spanish Open two years ago.

Northern Irish youngster Rory McIlroy's bid for a top-two place to make the season finale Volvo Masters is still alive after the 18-year-old made the cut with a 69 for four-under.


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