England’s Rob Harris exhibited his steadily-growing confidence in the professional arena when he reached the halfway stage of The Dubliner Challenge in Sweden in a share of the lead with Denmark’s Mark Haastrup.
The 22 year old from Lincoln added a 70 to his opening 68 at the Hills Golf Club on the outskirts of Gothenburg to move alongside the 24 year old Haastrup in pole position on four under par 138 after the Dane carded a 68 to go with his opening 70.
The Englishman –brother of European Tour Media Relations Manager Victoria Harris – has been performing steadily in his limited starts on the European Challenge Tour this season but showed he too can more than manage himself under the glare of the professional spotlight.
Two birdies and two bogeys were his only departures from par on the testing Hills Golf Club course in his first 17 holes before he finished in style with a closing birdie four on the 549 yard 18th.
“I have had three top 25s on the Challenge Tour so far this year and I am slowly getting more used to life out here,” he said. “When you start out, walking onto the range and seeing guys, who not only have had European Tour cards before but have actually won European Tour events, takes a bit of getting used to.
“I had the chance to play with Joakim Haeggman a little while ago in Austria and that was, again, another step up for me. I remember watching him playing in The Ryder Cup when I was a youngster and then there I was standing next to him on the first tee about to hit off.
“Once you ensure he is happy talking to you, it is a wonderful experience to be able to pick the brains of guys like that and tap into their experience. He was a great guy and I definitely learned a lot from him that I can hopefully put to good use in my own career.”
Out later in the day, joint leader Haastrup began his round at the tenth hole and reached the ‘turn’ in impressive figures of two under par 33. Turning for home on the front nine, his momentum was halted slightly with a bogey five at the second, but he recovered in fine style with further birdies at the third and fifth.
The demanding nature of the Swedish venue was illustrated by the fact that, aside from the joint leaders, only three other players ended the first two days under par.
One of those was third placed Erik Algulin of Sweden who posted a 69 for three under par 139 while Pablo del Grosso of Argentina and Germany’s Benjamin Miarka tied for fourth place on two under par 140 after respective second rounds of 67 and 70.