PGA European Tour Qualifying School - Final Stage (Getty Images)
Sweden’s Fredrik Henge continued to reap the benefits of home comforts as he joined Finland’s Antti Ahokas and England’s John Mellor in a share of the halfway lead at the ECCO Tour Championship in Denmark.
Henge, who has been commuting by train over the border from his hometown of Malmo, followed his opening round 66 with a solid round of 70 to move to eight under par for the tournament.
He was matched by Mellor who signed for a four under par 68 for the second consecutive day, following six birdies and two bogeys, and Ahokas who recovered from two bogeys on his front nine to card a 69.
Overnight leader Henge said he was enjoying himself on the course with the added bonus of being able to go home at night, despite the tournament being played in a different country.
He said: “It’s only an hour on the train to get here and it’s nice to be able to get away from everything after your round and relax. It has definitely helped me this week.
“I didn’t hit too many greens today but my short game was great again. I didn’t play the par fives as well and hit a few bad second shots on them which cost me birdie chances but I’m in a good position.”
Mellor said it was his hot putter which meant he will be going into the weekend in contention for his first win in 10 years.
After missing the cut in the Czech Republic last week Mellor spent three days practising at home which appears to have paid off so far at Kokkedal Golf Club in Copenhagen.
“I felt I played well last week but didn’t hole anything so I flew back on Saturday and on Saturday afternoon I was out practising,” he said. “I wanted to consolidate the way I was playing and had three days at home and I came here feeling good.
“I’m putting very well and I’m not making too many mistakes out there.
Ahokas, who battled through his first round despite playing with a trapped nerve in his arm, said he played more freely in his second round after shaking off the problem. He produced a run of four consecutive birdies on his back nine after a difficult start.
He said: “The pain released during the night and I was swinging freely – maybe too freely with the start I made! The four birdies on the back nine meant I went from one over par for the day to three under. It puts me in a good position now.”
Home favourite Anders Schmidt Hansen posted a fine 67, which included an eagle three on the 10th hole, to ensure the Danish fans will have someone to cheer at the top of the leaderboard over the weekend. Hansen is a shot behind the leaders on seven under par, where he is joined by Norway’s Eirik Tage Johansen who eagled the sixth hole en route to a 69 and England’s Richard McEvoy who posted a 68.