Martin Wiegele overcame his regular bout of early round nerves to sail into a three shot lead at the halfway point of the European Challenge Tour’s Open de Toulouse after his second round 65 gave him a 15 under par, 129 aggregate.
The Austrian leads Englishman Gary Clark – whose second day, nine under 63 was the lowest score ever seen at the Golf de Toulouse Palmola venue – Thomas Norret from Denmark (66) and Welshman Mark Mouland (65), with a further five players tied on 11 under par 133.
“I was a little nervous at the start of my round today,” said Wiegele, “but that has happened to me a few times this season. It happened again when I struggled a little at the start, made bogey and got angry with myself and it got me going in terms of making birdies again.”
Wiegele – currently the Number One player on the Challenge Tour Rankings – is hoping to complete his ground breaking season with his maiden professional victory and has put himself in prime position after 36 holes in Toulouse.
“I’d love to win this season – it’s the only thing that’s missing from a great year for me,” said the man who has finished inside the top ten on five separate occasions this year, with three out of those five seeing the 25 year old take second place.
“I feel I have done enough to secure my card for the European Tour next year, but it would be great to get some experience of winning a competition after going close so many times this year.”
Clark, meanwhile, admitted he was delighted to have played so well after an awkward season of changes.
“I’m really pleased with that,” said the 32 year old, who graduated from the Challenge Tour in 2001. “I’m starting to the hit ball really well again after being a bit unsure of my game for most of the summer.
“I recently changed back to my old clubs – the clubs that I used a couple of seasons ago when I came fifth on the Challenge Tour – and I’ve been getting a lot more confidence recently, I just hope I can keep it going over the weekend.”
The halfway cut was set at five under par, with 53 players making it through the halfway point.