Another wet and windy day in Holland presented tough conditions for most of the field at Burggolf Purmerend, but not for Sweden’s Johan Edfors, who went four shots clear of the field.
The 27 year old from Gothenburg carded a second 67, equal best of the day, for 134, ten under par, to open a four shot lead from Marco Soffietti from Italy with the chasing pack a further shot behind.
Edfors, already a Challenge Tour winner in Zambia this year, was a morning starter from the tenth tee and was soon in the groove with an opening birdie. However, he made his only mistake at the dog-leg par four 13th when he drove out of bounds and ran up a double bogey six.
But Edfors didn’t let this upset him. Further birdies at the 16th and 18th saw him turn in 35, while four more birdies, at the third, fourth, fifth and eighth, got him home in 32.
“I was very happy with my back nine, particularly my putting,” he said. “It was a bad mistake at the 13th. I shouldn’t have hit driver off the tee.”
Soffietti returned a five birdie 69 for 138, also coming home in 32, while four players share third place on 139, Peter Hanson of Sweden, South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Ryan Reid, and Mark Sanders from England.
Hanson began the day sharing the lead with Edfors but he ran up a double bogey at the fifth on the way to a 72.
Oosthuizen matched Edfors 67 thanks to six birdies, while Reid’s card contained seven birdies in a 68, five coming in six holes from the ninth.
Sanders is maintaining the form that saw him finish tied sixth last week in Spain with a 70 containing four birdies.
The cut came at three over par 147 with 66 players, including one amateur, surviving. Among the casualties were former European Tour regulars Michael Jonzon from Sweden, England's Van Phillips and Mark Davis, and ex-Walker Cup man Richard McEvoy.