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Animal activists claim responsibility for KLM Open attack

Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy lie two shots off the lead as the second round gets underway in Hilversum.

Image: Peter Dejong/AP/Press Association Images

AN ANONYMOUS GROUP of animal rights activists has claimed responsibility for the vandalism which delayed the beginning of the KLM Open yesterday.

Play at the Hilversumsche Golf Club was put back 45 minutes yesterday morning as staff raced to repair holes which had been dug in four of the course’s greens.

A statement e-mailed to NBC’s ProGolfTalk last night said that the attacks were aimed at tournament sponsor KLM who, the group alleged, facilitate animal testing by flying animals to scientific labs.

KLM, if you think you can get away with flying thousands and thousands of animals to laboratories worldwide you thought wrong. We will be wherever you go and wherever you think you can put your name up.

The first round was further disrupted by course flooding yesterday afternoon, forcing half the field to complete their opening round earlier this morning.

Overnight leaders Simon Dyson and Marcel Siem, both of whom played a full 18 holes yesterday, are yet to begin their second round.

The pair have since been joined at the top of the leaderboard on five under-par by no fewer than five others — Simon Khan, José Manuel Lara, Rhys Davies, Shiv Kapur and James Kingston — all of whom have moved themselves into contention with bright starts on day two.

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After level par opening rounds, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy now lie just two shots off the bunched lead. The world number two and number four are both three-under through nine holes, moving them into a tie for 12th place.

Gareth Maybin is a further four shots back on one over-par, while Shane Lowry, Paul McGinley, Michael Hoey (all level par), Peter Lawrie (+2) and Damien McGrane (+3) will tee up for their second round later on this afternoon.

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Niall Kelly

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