Another sumptuous round saw Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin tighten his grip on the Qingdao Golf Open on the European Challenge Tour.
Maybin, who is yet to drop a shot in two days at Qingdao Huashan Golf & Resort, added a 67 to his opening round of 62 to move to 15 under par.
With temperatures topping 30 degrees celsius in Qingdao, China, Maybin’s toughest competitor was the sun, but the man from Belfast showed few signs of fatigue as he posted five birdies in another flawless round of golf.
He said: “I played very similarly to yesterday – I just didn’t hit my iron shots as close. But overall, I’ve got to be very pleased with another good round. I’ve just to keep doing what I’ve been doing – it sounds easy in theory, but it’s a bit more difficult in practice. I’m playing aggressively and it seems to be working well, so I can’t see any reason to change my approach.
“We’re only two days in, so the job’s only half done. I’d love the tournament to finish now but there’s still 36 holes left to play, so I can’t afford to let up or lose focus. There are a lot of tough driving holes out there and the greens are quite fast and slopey, so you can easily get caught out. I feel very fortunate not to have dropped any shots – if I can keep the bogeys off my card over the next two days, I’d probably fancy my chances!”
With some of the afternoon starters yet to complete their rounds – all tee times were delayed by an hour due to thick morning fog – Maybin’s nearest challenger is France’s Julien Quesne, who posted eight birdies in a round of 66 to move to ten under par.
One shot back on nine under par is Italy’s Gregory Molteni, who is in turn one shot ahead of David Horsey of England, the current Challenge Tour Number Two.
Horsey opened with a double bogey, but fought back with six birdies after the turn to sign for a round of 69.
Joining Horsey on eight under par is the Scottish pairing of Greig Hutcheon, who posted four birdies in a round of 71, and Richie Ramsay, whose flawless round of 69 featured three birdies.