Friday, 19 March 2010
Johan Skold took over at the top of the leaderboard at the halfway mark of the NCC Open at Soderasens in Sweden. He carded a second round 64 for eight under par 134, three strokes clear of England’s Grant Hamerton, who returned 67.

Skold, 26 year old from Balsta, had high hopes of landing his maiden Challenge Tour title in France last week until a fierce wind on the final day brought him a 73 and seventh place.

The wind that blew into Soderasens today held no such fears for the shaven-headed Swede, who went out in 31 with four birdies and added three more in a homeward 33.

Hamerton was also out in the afternoon from the 10th tee and suffered just one blemish with a bogey at the first, his 10th. But five birdies meant a 67 for 137 and second spot on his own.

Six players are bracketed in third place on 138 including two more Swedes and three Britons. Viktor Gustavsson added to his opening 68 with 70 while Marten Olander went round in 69 for the second day.

Former double English champion Mark Foster, out in the morning, ran Skold close with 65, making his score with six birdies in 11 holes from the fourth.

Benn Barham, who finished joint fourth in the Aa St Omer Open on Sunday after finishing with a pair of 67s, added another with four birdies and just one bogey, but Denmark’s Knud Storgaard went one better with 66 containing six birdies.

Also on 138 are England’s Stuart Little and Hennie Walters from South Africa, also after 67s

Four more Swedes share 10th place, Per Larsson, Patrik Gottfridson, Mattias Nilsson, and Ulrik Gustaffson, along with Simon Wakefield from England and Dutchman Robert Jan Derksen, another to fire 67.

But it wasn’t a good day for the first round leaders, Gustavsson apart. Finland’s Pasi Purhonen added a 73 to his opening 67 to slip to joint 16th, while Adam Mednick from Sweden went round in 74 to survive the cut on the limit of 142, level par.

Fredrick Manasson didn’t do much better, a 72 leaving him on 140.

Highlight of the day was two holes in one. Ralph Miller from Holland secured the first with an eight iron at the 165m 15th, then Italy’s Francesco Guermani aced the 165m ninth with a seven iron. But while Miller finished on 141, Guermani missed the cut on 144.

A total of 52 players made the cut, 27 of them Swedes.

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