Oscar Floren of Sweden and Australian Daniel Gaunt continued to match each other stride for stride to share the early halfway lead in the ECCO Tour Championship on the Challenge Tour.
Following six under par 67s on the opening day at Green Eagle Golf Club near Hamburg, Floren and Gaunt both posted second rounds of 72 for a seven under par total of 139.
With a third member of the leading trio, Kyron Sullivan of Wales being an afternoon starter, Floren and Gaunt moved ahead of the pack over one of Europe’s longest courses.
Gaunt, winner of last month’s English Challenge, admitted to “a bit of an off day” with some excellent play interspersed with some errors. He said: “I made an eagle at the fourth then bogeyed the par three fifth and eighth, so that kind of sums up my day. I had to scramble for my score but at least I am there for the weekend.”
Floren, who lost a play-off in Turkey earlier in the season, rattled in consecutive 40 foot birdie putts at the 12th and 13th to step up his bid to finish in the winner’s enclosure for the first time in his Challenge Tour career.
Floris De Vries of The Netherlands and Spain’s Carlos Del Moral are among the pursuing group on six under par after scores of 68 and 70 respectively. De Vries, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Wednesday, is bidding for his second victory of the season – and top spot on the Challenge Tour Rankings.
Currenly in third place, the Dutchman commented: “That is my big incentive for the rest of the year – to win again and to finish Number One. I feel confident and there is no reason why I can’t do it.”