Ernie Els shot a 3-under-par 69 in the second round of the BMW International Open in Munich on Friday to maintain his one-stroke lead.
The South African made six birdies, a double bogey, and a bogey, leaving him at 12-under 132 halfway through the European Tour event. Els, a two-time winner of the British Open and US Open, opened with a 63 Thursday.
‘‘There’s so much golf to be played. If you fall out of the lead, if you’re not leading after three rounds, it doesn’t really mean much at all late Sunday,’’ Els said. ‘‘So you just want to stay in the race and keep trying to go forward.’’
He was followed by Matthew Baldwin (69) and Alexander Levy (68). Defending champion Danny Willett shot a 65 for the day’s best round and was tied for fourth place with Bernd Wiesberger (68).
Willett was six strokes off the pace after an opening 69 and is happy he is back in contention to become the first player to defend the title in the 25th year of the event.
Five players — 2008 winner Martin Kaymer (71), Marcel Siem (68), Tommy Fleetwood (69), Miguel Angel Jimenez (67), and Alex Noren (71) — were three strokes off the pace in sixth.
Els was behind Willett and Wiesberger by the time he teed off in the afternoon. Els began with five successive pars before holing his first birdie, but ran into trouble when he found water from the tee at the par-four No. 7 and needed six shots.
After four more birdies, a bogey on No. 16 appeared to have cost him the lead but he finished with a simple tap-in for another birdie.
LPGA — Mika Miyazato birdied six of 10 holes in the middle of her round to shoot a 6-under 65 and earn the first-round lead by a stroke over So Yeon Ryu and Angela Stanford at NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers.
Miyazato hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation. Ten golfers are two shots back at 4 under, including local favorite Stacy Lewis, who played collegiately at nearby University of Arkansas.
World No. 1 Inbee Park is four shots off the lead.
Lewis enjoyed the largest gallery during the afternoon in front of her Arkansas fans — who serenaded her with a call of ‘‘Woo Pig Sooie’’ after she hit the green on No. 17. The Texas native missed her birdie putt on the hole, but she closed out her round with an up-and-down birdie out of the greenside bunker on the par-5 18th.
The world No. 2 earned an unofficial win at the rain-shortened event as an amateur in 2007, but she hasn’t finished higher than eighth since. She had no such problems on Friday, hitting 13 of 13 fairways.
The group at 4 under includes Lewis, Chie Arimura, Danielle Kang, Azahara Munoz, Beatriz Recari, Lisa McCloskey, Mina Harigae, Suzann Pettersen, Christel Boeljon, and Sarah Kemp.
Champions — Craig Stadler birdied five of his first 11 holes to jump into a share of the lead with Duffy Waldorf and Bernhard Langer at 5-under-par 67 in the rain-delayed Encompass Championship at Glenville, Ill.
There were 23 players left on the course when play on the 54-hole tournament was suspended by darkness. Stadler, who didn’t start until after a 3-hour-28-minute delay for severe weather was in the next-to-last group to finish.
The players with holes remaining will finish Saturday morning before the second round begins.
Web.com — Rookie Chesson Hadley fired a 2-under 69 Friday and moved into first place at the halfway mark of the Rex Hospital Open in Raleigh, N.C.
Hadley, who grew up minutes away from the TPC Wakefield Plantation course, stands at 1-under 132 and one stroke in front of one-time PGA Tour player Jason Gore (68), Edward Loar (65), and former US Amateur champ Danny Lee (66).