Englishman Chris Paisley stormed into the lead at the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda with a flawless seven under par 65 in the second round.
The 25 year old former Walker Cup player is ten under par, one shot clear of overnight leader Andrea Pavan of Italy, who began his second round this afternoon, and two ahead of Swede Klass Eriksson and England’s Matt Ford and Daniel Dennison, who returned scores of 67, 69 and 68 respectively.
Paisley, who received a sponsor’s invitation to play in the €160,000 event at Golf Club Klagenfurt-Seltenheim in southern Austria, is currently top of the Alps Tour Order of Merit.
He said: “I played a lot better than I did yesterday. Yesterday I really struggled and still managed to shoot three under somehow. Today I hit it really well and didn’t have any bogeys and holed a few good putts, so I’m very happy.
“It’s strange because first thing this morning it was raining heavily and I thought it was going to be a long day. I only hit a few balls to warm up and I was just hoping it would stop raining, and luckily it did. I hit a few really nice shots down the first couple of holes and I got some confidence going from that.”
Eriksson, who fired a hole-in-one in the first round, said: “Everything is going really well and I am feeling very focused and calm. I took it shot by shot, not doing anything particularly fantastic but just playing solidly. I’m enjoying playing this course – it’s in a very nice condition and the greens are wet after all the rain this morning. But that’s the same for everyone and I think it will be a very low winning score this week. But at eight under at halfway at least I’m in with a chance.”
Ford admitted the rainy conditions made for a frustrating day, but is delighted to be eight under at the halfway stage.
He said: “My iron play is pretty solid and I’m putting nicely, although I haven’t holed that many yet. I’m giving myself the opportunities though, which is the main thing, and I’m probably holing about 50 percent of them. But to be in this position is great.
“When you have to tee off first thing in heavy rain it is tough. It’s not tough to motivate yourself but it’s tough to stay positive sometimes. The umbrella is constantly going up and down and the waterproofs are going on, then coming off again.
“Yesterday we had an hour delay for thunderstorms and this morning the rain so it does feel like we’ve had the tougher half of the draw, but you just have to get on with it.”