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Veteran Jimenez eyes European Tour record with win in Andalucia

March 16, 2012 -- Updated 2340 GMT (0740 HKT)
Miguel Angel Jimenez discusses tactcs with his caddie during the second round of the Andalucia Open.
Miguel Angel Jimenez discusses tactcs with his caddie during the second round of the Andalucia Open.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Eduardo de la Riva leads Andalucia Open at halfway stage
  • Veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez one shot back in joint second place
  • Jimenez would become European Tour's oldest winner
  • Jason Dufner leads PGA tournament in Florida

(CNN) -- Miguel Angel Jimenez was well-placed to become the oldest winner on the European Tour as he trailed halfway leader and fellow Spaniard Eduardo de la Riva by just a shot Friday at the Andalucia Open.

Jimenez, who hosts the tournament in Spain, turned 48 in January and would be 39 days older than the previous record holder Des Smyth of Ireland should he claim his 19th European Tour title come Sunday.

He was tied for second with Italian teenager Matteo Manassero, England's Tommy Fleetwood, Damien McGrane of Ireland and another compatriot Pablo Larrazabal.

Manassero, hoping to for a strong finish to boost his chances of playing in the U.S. Masters, slipped back with a second round 73 after his brilliant opening 64.

But they all trailed de La Riva, who birdied the last hole to take the outright lead on eight-under 136.

"I am very pleased with my birdie on 18 which is a challenging hole. I took a five wood and four iron over the water.

"I played well off the tee but the key today were my shots to the green from 100 to 150 yards," he told the official European Tour website.

Ryder Cup star Eduardo Molinari of Italy shot the low round of the day with a 65 to join a clutch of players on six-under, who included England's Oliver Wilson.

Wilson is battling back to his best after a stomach ulcers problem.

Also on that mark was Abu Dhabi winner Robert Rock, who like several others in the field is eying a Masters spot with another victory.

Canadian Mike Weir, champion at Augusta in 2003 but now outside the top 1000 in the world after elbow surgery, was three under.

Meanwhile in the Transitions Championship on the PGA Tour, American Jason Dufner led the way after a second straight 66 at Copperhead in Florida.

He held a two-shot lead over first round leader Padraig Harrington of Ireland and William McGirt.

Harrington was 12 shots worse than his first round 61 to give up the lead, while last year's PGA money list winner Luke Donald of England moved into a contention with a 68 to be three back.

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