Nicolas Meitinger fired a staggering 11 under par 60 in the second round of The Princess to break the course record and move to within one shot of the lead on a day of low scoring.
The German reached nine under for the tournament after blitzing round Båstad Golf Club in southern Sweden to sit one behind Swede Oscar Floren. His first nine – an eight under par 27 which included an eagle, six birdies and two pars – was the lowest nine-hole score on the Challenge Tour this season and equalled the record for the lowest in Challenge Tour history. Only Matthew King in the 2004 Attijari Wafa – Tilkida Beach Morccan Classic and Toni Karjalainen in the 2008 MAN NO Open have recorded a score so low. It is also the lowest 18-hole score on the Challenge Tour this year.
He carded two more birdies and another eagle on the front nine, but a bogey at the par five eighth prevented him from breaking the 60 barrier.
“I’ve been playing well the last couple of weeks but putting badly,” said Meitinger, who broke the course record of 62 set 12 months ago by tournament winner Andrew Butterfield. “Even last week at the BMW International Open I played really well but struggled on the greens. Today it felt like it was going in from everywhere. I was still playing well but putting is always the key to a low round.
“I was hitting it pretty close but then holing everything from five or six metres. On both the eagles I hit good tee shots. The par fives are not that long here, so on the 14th I hit a four iron to about seven metres and holed the putt, and on the fifth I hit a really good two iron close. With these pin positions you can make eagles and birdies.
“I missed the cut by one in Germany last week and I was a bit unlucky, but after weeks like that you always have to keep it up. It was not too difficult because I played well here last year and I was glad to come back. Yesterday I played well but didn’t hole the putts, but today the putts went in.”
Floren was delighted to have a one-shot lead midway through the second round, although he admitted he did not play as well today.
“It feels good to be the clubhouse leader,” he said. “It didn’t feel as good as yesterday but I took advantage of the par fives – I think I played them three under. But I got off to a good start and made a few birdies. I had a couple of three putts but that’s life.
“This weekend I’m just going to keep doing the same thing. It doesn’t matter if I’m ten over or ten under, I’ll just focus on every shot.”
Of Meitinger’s score, he added: “That’s obviously a great number, a fantastic score. I think he was eight under through nine and he must have been thinking of a 59. You have to tip your hat to him. A 60 on any course is a great score.”
Klas Eriksson, who carded a 65, is another shot back at eight under, alongside fellow Swede Peter Gustaffson (67), while overnight leader Jonathan Caldwell is at seven under and among the afternoon groups.
Eriksson said: “I played very good golf – really solid. I just enjoyed it and there were no problems. I just kept it very simple. It feels great with the family here. I didn’t even go out on the golf course for a practice round, just showed up and played. It’s nice. I always really like to play in Sweden.
“It makes a difference – not having to travel very far, having the family here...It would be great to win here in Sweden and I’m really looking forward to the next couple of days.
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