Friday, 19 March 2010
Challenge of Ireland  (Getty Images)
Challenge of Ireland (Getty Images)

The left-handed duo of Chris Gane and Andrew Tampion share the overnight lead at the European Challenge Tour’s Dutch Futures presented by Royal Bank of Scotland after Tampion holed two wedge shots for eagle and crashed another in the hole only to see his ball leap back out.

Tampion, who started his second round on the tenth tee, holed a stunning sand wedge from 96 metres for an eagle two to spark his amazing run. The Australian followed that in on the 18th with a flick of his lob wedge from 40 metres for an eagle three.

He wasn’t finished there, though. Standing on the par five eighth hole (his 17th of the day), Tampion fired another short-range wedge to the green, his ball once more finding the bottom of the cup. But instead of nestling in the hole, Tampion’s ball wrecked the hole as it shot back out to three feet.

After some minor repairs to the cup, the Australian tapped in for a birdie four to put the seal on his fine second round 66 as he joined Gane at the top of the leaderboard.

“It felt good out there today and holing those wedges was just a bit crazy for a moment,” said Tampion. “I am playing well and have got a bit of confidence back in the game.

“I am in the kind of position in the Rankings where I need a good week to get me into that top 20 because we are running out of events. I was pretty unfortunate in Kazakhstan last week because I got food poisoning and had to withdraw, so hopefully I can make up for that this weekend.”

Tampion’s loss in Kazakhstan was Gane’s gain in many ways. The Englishman’s late decision to play the Dutch Futures presented by Royal Bank of Scotland was sparked by his return to form in Kazakhstan last week, and has been proven one of his best of the season so far after he moved onto a share of the lead.

The Englishman was looking to this week as break in his hectic end of season schedule before a rousing finish to finish fifth at last week’s Kazakhstan Open ensured the left hander leaped from 52nd to 27th on the Challenge Tour Rankings, putting him within striking distance of a place in the top 20.

“I played well today, struck the ball nicely and took my chances when I had to make some crucial six-eight foot putts,” said Gane.

“I decided to come here after playing so well last week in Kazakhstan. I’m not in a position where I can afford to miss tournaments in the run in to the end of the season, plus, after last week, I wanted to try and keep my momentum going.”

Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey conjured a superb albatross two on the par five eighth to help himself move to second spot on the leaderboard at six under par, with a further four players tied in fourth place a further stroke back.

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Tournament Leaderboard

PosPlayer NameNatHolePar
T1HULDAHL, JeppeDEN18-13
T1REMKES, TacoNED18-13
3HIGLEY, MarcusENG18-12
T4GANE, ChrisENG18-11
T4MORRIS, MatthewENG18-11
T6HOEY, MichaelNIR18-10
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