Friday, 19 March 2010

Dutchman Maarten Lafeber shattered the Bowood course record with a nine-under-par 63 but it wasn't good enough to take him to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the Beazer Homes Challenge Tour Championship. That honour went to Spain's Carl Suneson.
Having opened with a 77, it left Lafeber on 140, four under par and still four shots behind Suneson, who carded a second 68 for 136.
Curiously, Lafeber opened with 77 and 66 last week in Finland to make the cut and is rapidly becoming the tour's comeback king.
The 25 year old from Eindhoven, who started his magnificent round at the 10th tee, was out in 30 with six birdies and back in 33 with three more to trim two shots off the record set by Paul Curry and Garry Houston in the pre-tournament pro-am and equalled minutes earlier by Michael Welch.
"I knew I would have to shoot something like 67 to make the cut and I just played relaxed all the way round," he said. "I got to three under at the turn and when I made further birdies at the first, third and fourth I knew I was on track.
"At the 400-yard fifth, I hit a nine-iron second shot and the ball went into the hole and bounced out. But that meant another birdie while I also picked up a shot at the seventh. Then at the ninth I had a putt of around 30 feet which I just wanted to get close but it dropped in for the ninth birdie.
"This is my seventh tournament in a row and I'm tired. But my coach told me to just play relaxed and not to put any pressure on myself. But I didn't expect to shoot a record."
Suneson, No.1 on the Challenge Tour rankings, carded four birdies and no dropped shots in his 68 and leads by two from Argentina's Gustavo Rojas, who shot 67, and another Spaniard, Victor Casado, who also returned 68.
Welch, who birdied the closing four holes in his 65, is joint fourth with fellow Englishman Carl Watts and overnight leader Benoit Teilleria of France, who slipped to a 73.
Lafeber is equal seventh with another Englishman, Simon Hurd, while teenager Justin Rose survived the cut comfortably on 141 after a 69.
The cut came at level-par 144 and 51 players survived including 18 from the Mastercard Tour.

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Tournament Leaderboard

PosPlayer NameNatHolePar
1SUNESON, CarlESP18-16
T2LAFEBER, MaartenNED18-8
T2DREDGE, BradleyWAL18-8
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