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Friday, 19 March 2010

South Africa’s Michiel Bothma and Christian Reimbold of Germany threw convention to one side to move into a share of the lead at the European Challenge Tour’s A.G.F. Allianz Golf Open de Toulouse.

The two share the lead after respective scores of 66 and 71 helped the to nine under par 135 aggregates, with Switzerland’s André Bossert and Nicolas Vanhootegem of Belgium sharing second place on eight under.

Bothma’s second round was simply extraordinary. Just 15 minutes before he was due to tee off, the man from Pretoria decided that he was not happy with his driver on the range, so he made a quick phone call to his wife, Jolandi, who arrived in the nick of time with a replacement that would help her man card a six under par 66 to move to nine under for the tournament.

Having started his round on the tenth tee, Bothma made a birdie at this first hole before racking up a triple bogey eight on the par five 14th after finding the water from a greenside bunker.

It took the remainder of the back nine for Bothma to fully steady himself, but, after turning in one over 37, he took full revenge on the Golf de Toulouse-Seilh with a wonderful display of low scoring, covering the front nine in just 29 strokes, including an outstanding eagle-eagle finish.

“It was a hell of a day today!” laughed Bothma. “There certainly was never a boring moment and to finish with the two eagles was great.

“I hit a good drive down the eighth, the par five, but it just ran out of fairway and stopped in the rough. I hate laying up so I opened up the eight iron and decided to go for it and it came out just perfectly and stopped about eight feet from the hole and I managed to make the putt.

“Then on the ninth I had a four iron off the tee which left me a perfect yardage of 120 yards for my gap wedge. I soon as hit it I knew that it was going to be close, but to see it bounce about four feet before the flag and then spin back into the hole was very satisfying.”

Reimbold, meanwhile, made a fantastic recovery to join the South African atop the leaderboard.

The German, who recently recovered from the debilitating Coxsackie Virus, which had kept him out of the game for sixth months, as well as an injured wrist, was three over after four holes of his second round, but found the strength to recover with four birdies to post his second round 71.

“I made a very bad start,” said Reimbold. “I didn’t feel good this morning. I think that was a combination of the effects of the virus and the injured wrist, but that soon got better once I had made a couple of birdies.

“I didn’t have the best round, but I was solid after the double-bogey and the bogey and it is good that I managed to get under par the day even though I did not play that great.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

PosPlayer NameNatHolePar
1LUITEN, JoostNED18-17
2VANHOOTEGEM, NicolasBEL18-16
3PADDISON, GarethNZL18-11
T4LITTLE, JamieENG18-10
T4LARSEN, Jan-AreNOR18-10
T4PERSSON, MagnusSWE18-10
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