As his countrymen Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson helped Europe to a 5-3 lead after the first day of The Ryder Cup, Sweden’s Johan Sköld excelled in the individual arena when he moved into the lead at the halfway stage of the OKI Mahou Challenge de España on the Challenge Tour.
The 31 year old carded a superb second round 64 over the Centro Nacional de Golf course in Madrid for an 11 under par total of 133 and a one shot lead over Frenchman Olivier David and Rafael Gomez of Argentina.
Sköld carded eight birdies in total and put the upturn in his form down to an improved confidence with the short stick.
“I made three putts on the tenth but that was about my only mistake and I holed a lot of other good putts for birdies,” he said. “The last couple of weeks I played all right but didn’t putt well. It is a big difference now and I should be fine if I keep playing like this.”
Gomez carded a 68 for a ten under par total of 134 and was joined on that mark by David who went one better with a five under par 67, a truly remarkable effort considering he had given serious consideration to pulling out of the tournament with injury.
“Yesterday when I woke up I couldn’t move my neck and I did think about retiring from the tournament,” said the Frenchman. “But the physios spent an hour and a half with me and now I’m perfect. They do a great job and without their help I would have gone home.”