Sweden’s Pehr Magnebrant is racing away with the Finnish Masters in Helsinki. The 29-year-old followed up his opening 65 with a round of 67 for a halfway total of 12-under-par 132 and is four shots clear of fellow Swede, Paul Nilbrink and five ahead of the rest of the field.
Magnebrant began his round from the 10th tee and only picked up one shot on his outward nine. But birdies at the final four holes gives him a commanding grip on the tournament.
“It was a nice finish,” he said modestly. “When you shoot 65 mentally you want to go out and shoot low again. But it doesn’t always work out that way. But I’m feeling confident and I have my coach Lennart Ibsionus with me this week.”
Nilbrink, who carded a 69 for 136, didn’t drop a shot and had three birdies. “I played so much better today,” he said. “I hit all 18 greens in regulation but I didn’t putt that well. I think I had 33 putts.
“I’ll be playing with Pehr tomorrow. He is a good friend and we will have a lot of fun.”
Three more Swedes are on 137. Erik Andersson, who spends much of his time in Brazil where he was born, found six birdies in his 67 in what is only his sixth tournament of the year.
“I have been struggling with my game and doing a lot of teaching in Brazil. But it’s nice to be back.”
Johan Rystrom is also on 137 after a 69 as is Adam Mednick, who carded a 67 in the morning with an eagle and four birdies.
The cut came at one-under-par 143 and 58 players including two amateurs survived. The weekend players will include Ireland’s David
Higgins, No.1 on the rankings, and his closest challenger, Henrik Stenson from Sweden.
Three Finnish players made the cut including two amateurs, Toni Karjalainen on 142 and Tuomas Tuovinen on 143. But the best placed is professional Mikael Mustonen on 141 after a 71. Mikka Ilonen, who won the Amateur Championship at Hoylake in June, crashed out after rounds of 77 and 76.