Friday, 06 October 2006

The Golf International Open de Toulouse looks set to go right to the wire, with four players still sharing the lead after 36 holes at the Golf de Toulouse-Seilh. Frenchman Anthony Grenier is the only first round leader to remain in a tie for first position after the second round, but he was joined in pole position by Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson-Hed, Englishman Shaun P Webster and Scotland’s Peter Whiteford on nine under par 135 at the halfway stage of this, the penultimate event on the 2006 Challenge Tour Schedule.

Grenier followed his opening 67 with a second round of four under 68 and was delighted to be coming back into top form given that he missed 11 tournaments of the season due to a ruptured spleen.

The Frenchman incurred that horrible injury after a nasty fall while jogging earlier in the season and is delighted to have returned fully fit and now playing nicely as the season draws to a close.

Grenier will more than likely receive a medical exemption for next season given the fact that he was unable to play for a vast section of the season, but for his co-leaders, the Golf International Open de Toulouse represents a great opportunity to keep the their seasons alive.

Andersson-Hed and Whiteford, who were playing together in the second round, both feel that only a victory will be good enough to ensure them a place among the Challenge Tour Rankings’ elite 45 come Sunday evening, which would guarantee them a place at the Apuloa San Domenico Grand Final in a fortnight’s time.

It is there that the 20 available European Tour card son offer through the Challenge Tour are decided, and with Andersson-Hed and Whiteford respectively 81st and 94th on the current Ranking, they need to win the €19,200 top prize on offer in Toulouse to haul themselves in the Grand Final.

They went about that in the right fashion during the second round, with Andersson-Hed carding a five under par 67 and his playing partner Whiteford a 66 to set the clubhouse lead at nine under 135.

Webster, meanwhile, is arguably the Challenge Tour’s most dangerous player at the moment.

The Englishman took second place behind Welshman Mark Pilkington at last week’s Kazakhstan Open to climb 80 places on the Rankings, from 104th to 24th and has maintained his outstanding form to move into contention in Toulouse with scores of 71 and a quite brilliant 64.

The four leaders will be strongly pursued over the weekend, with Sweden’s Kalle Brink just one stroke of the pace and a further four players tied on seven under.

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