There are not many professional golfers who can still lead a tournament after taking a quadruple bogey during their second rounds, but Jamie Moul did just that at the English Challenge after a roller coaster second round.
Moul, playing over his home course at the Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa in Essex, certainly gave the huge crowd following him plenty of thrills and spills as he posted a one under par 71 to move to nine under par for the tournament and maintain his one stroke advantage over the field.
Starting on the tenth tee, the local boy flew out of the blocks with three birdies in his opening five holes to move three clear of the chasing pack.
At that point, Moul looked in the kind of form that could see him replicate his former Walker Cup team mate Rory McIlroy’s domineering US Open performance but he was stopped in his tracks when his ball came to rest in an ugly divot on the 17th fairway.
“It was going alright up until that point,” smiled Moul. “I was just trying to really dig the ball out of the divot but it came out horrible and flew way right and ended up six inches out of bounds. Naturally I tugged the next one into the bunker left at which point the head was off a little bit and I ended up with an eight.
“It took me a few holes to get my focus back but then I finished really nicely, birdieing three of my last four holes to get back into the lead which was a nice way to end a pretty strange day.
“At the start of the week I would have been delighted to be leading by one going into the weekend here so I have to put that one bad hole into perspective and keep playing the way I have done for the other 35 holes this week.
“I really up for the weekend and it feels great to be playing well in front of so many people who are giving me unbelievable support out there.”
The 26 year old will need that support to fend off a chasing pack that could see any one of the 64 players that made two under par cut mark. With just seven shots separating the entire weekend field, it is sure to be a thrilling weekend of golf at Stoke by Nayland.
Moul’s closest challengers – Martin Erlandsson, Jesus Legarrea and Alessandro Tadini – lead the chasing pack on eight under but the English Challenge trophy is still very much up for grabs with every man in the weekend field in with a great shout to take the title.
That is, providing Mr Moul keeps producing those roller coaster rounds…..