Henrik Stenson, currently No.1 on the Order of Merit and the man everyone fears, has moved ominously to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway mark of the Challenge Tour Grand Final in Cuba.
The 24-year-old Swede carded a second round 67 for 136, eight under par, and is a shot clear of fellow countryman Johan Rystrom and two strokes ahead of Scotland’s Andrew Raitt Simon Hurd from Leeds and South African Trevor Immelman.
On a fine, warm day with little breeze, Stenson carded an eagle and five birdies in his 67. Hs closest rival on the rankings and playing partner, David Higgins matched the Swede with his own 67 but the Irishman is five shots back on 141.
Raitt, the Surrey-based Scot, led at one stage on eight under. But bogeys at the final two holes for a 71 dropped him back into a tie for third on 138.
On the same mark is Hurd, who holed an 18-foot birdie putt at the last for a 68. The Yorkshireman, whose close pal Ian Poulter collected his maiden tour victory last week in the Italian Open, could secure his card this week if he finishes among the leaders on Sunday.
Another Scot Graham Rankin, who began the round one behind Raitt, carded a 72 for 140 and can afford to finish in the top 10 to gain promotion to the main tour next year.