Andre Bossert rekindled memories of his European Tour triumph as he moved into the halfway lead of the MAN NÖ Open in Austria.
Bossert, born in Switzerland but now living in South Africa, fired a second successive five under par 65 to take the clubhouse lead on ten under par at GC Adamstal, Ramsau, two clear of the defending champion, Anders Schmidt Hansen of Denmark, and England’s Jamie Little.
Bossert tasted victory on The European Tour 13 years ago when he won the 1995 Air France Cannes Open and immediately drew comparisons between Royal Mougins and GC Adamstal which he hopes will give him the edge over the weekend.
“The course is very similar to Cannes where I won, very up and down and you need to play your short irons well,” explained the 45 year old. “That suits me so hopefully I can pull through.”
Bossert stuck the ball beautifully over the front nine with little reward, making only one birdie when he two putted the par five third after an aggressive approach over the corner which he described as his shot of the day. It was not until be turned for home that the putter warmed up and birdies at the tenth, 11th and 12th got his round going. A fifth birdie of the day followed on the 14th as he surged into the lead.
Languishing in 193rd place on the Challenge Tour Rankings, Bossert knows he needs a strong finish to the season but having recovered from a bout of chicken pox which laid him low earlier in the season, the former European Tour Champion feels he is peaking at the right time.
“My game started turning around last week but here it is better than I expected,” he said. “It is a case of being patient and hopefully having a good weekend and then I am playing in Russia next week, so it will be good to go there with some confidence. I still love playing and hopefully I can pull through.”
Hansen, who captured the title a year ago with a three victory over England’s Zane Scotland, once again showed his liking for the GC Adamstal course as he too shot a five under 65, racing out of the blocks with a four under front nine of 32 and coming home in 33.
The home fans will also have plenty to cheer about over the weekend with Markus Brier well placed to mount a challenge in his bid to add to his previous two Challenge Tour titles and one European Tour title in his home country. Brier shot a two under par 68 to move to seven under par but even Austria’s favourite golfing son was upstaged by compatriot Thomas Feyrsinger, who shot a seven under par 63 to join Brier in share of fourth on seven under alongside Finn Jonas Granberg.
After the delays on the first day, four groups were unable to complete their second rounds before darkness prompted the suspension to play. They will complete their second rounds at 7.15am on Saturday with the third round due to start at 9.15am.