Lee Slattery produced an outstanding second round of six under par 66 at the JW Marriott Mirage City Golf Club to take the clubhouse lead of the Egyptian Open presented by SODIC.
The Englishman, currently 21st in the Challenge Tour Rankings – one spot outside the all-important top 20 places that will be rewarded with a place on next year’s European Tour after next week’s Grand Final – made just one error in an otherwise flawless display in trick, swirling winds on the outskirts of Cairo.
Slattery posted a nine under par halfway total of 135 to take a three stroke clubhouse lead from Frenchman Michael Lorenzo-Vera, who carded a second round 69, with Chile’s Mark Tullo matching that day two effort to move to five under for the week.
“I just didn’t put a foot wrong today to be honest,” said Slattery, winner of the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2004. “The only fairway I missed was on the 11th and so left myself a 30 foot par putt which I missed but apart from that there were no bogeys and I got in the zone a bit towards the end and had a very strong finish. I felt it was going to be a good day but it turned out to be a great day.
“Everything has felt pretty good this week and it is not often that you come into a tournament feeling confidence throughout every aspect of your game – hopefully I can keep it going for the next two days. I have played well this year overall – I have won once and had a few top tens which, on The European Tour, would be a great year but because the money is a lot tighter on the Challenge Tour it makes it tougher.
“Everyone wants to play well at this time of the year and you just have to take what comes your way in golf. I think having that assurance or experience will stand me in good stead over the next week. I have had it all in this game: I have lost my Tour card by £50 in 2007 and then I have also had great years, winning the Challenge Tour and so on.
“It would be great to get things done this week – if I could win here then I would be safe for next year and the target at the moment is to get into the top 15, anything better than that would be a bonus and winning here would come into that category.”
World Number Nine Rory McIlroy continued to battle against the swing changes he is trying to implement as he struggled to a two over par 74 to post a halfway total of one over 145.
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