The 21 year old carded 10 birdies, including six in a flawless front nine, as he took a four shot lead into the second day at Golf Sempachersee, ahead of his compatriot Lasse Jensen, England’s Matt Ford and his fellow countryman and 2008 Ryder Cup star Oliver Wilson.That run included a superb run of four consecutive birdies from the second hole, followed by back to back birdies on the eighth and ninth holes to take him to the turn on six under par. His back nine didn’t get off to the ideal start as he bogeyed the 10th but he gained shots at the 11th, 13th, 14th and 17th to give his hopes of a first Challenge Tour title a significant boost.
“I played really well,” said Hansen, “I did the same in the practice round - birdieing from the second hole to the fifth hole. I'm just hitting the ball well, finally. I haven’t hit it too well this year but I'm really happy with my game at the moment.“It is definitely the best round I have played on the Challenge Tour. I hit a few bad drives on the back nine but I also saved good pars on the 15th and 16th.
“I have only played as good as that once before in my life. I made 12 birdies and one bogey one time and shot a 59. I was an amateur and it was just a tournament at my home course in Denmark. It felt like I had the same game as that 59 so it was really nice.”There was a strong presence of Danish players close to the top of the leaderboard, with Barclays Kenya Open runner-up Jensen tied for second in Lucerne, while Daniel Lokke and Andreas Hartø were both in tied 19th place, albeit seven shots behind on two under.
Hansen says he has taken some encouragement from the success of his compatriots on the Challenge Tour and believes the course this week should be to their liking.“Maybe the course is a bit similar to a Danish course,” he said. “We don’t get very fast greens in Denmark so they are quite alike.
“I did think at the start of this year if I can follow the likes of Lasse and Andreas, that would be good, and I think I can. I do get advice from them sometimes.”Wilson was four shots back, alongside Ford and Jensen, after a five under par round of 66 and the nine-time runner up on The European Tour was delighted with his first round of golf on the Challenge Tour in seven years.
“I'm pleased to be here,” said Wilson, who beat Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim in The 2008 Ryder Cup Saturday foursomes alongside Henrik Stenson.
“I love coming to Switzerland. I like the course. I think it is set up really well. Last time I played the Challenge Tour in 2004 we didn’t play many courses that were set up so well. It has narrow fairways and the rough is very tough and the greens are in good shape so it’s not easy out there.
“It’s windy too and you have to drive it well and hole putts, which is a winning combination anywhere you play but more so here because if you miss the fairways you’re up against it. But I'm in a good position so I'm happy.”There were six players a shot further back on four under including Simon Wakefield, who is third in the Challenge Tour Rankings after two runner up finishes and two third place finishes in the past seven weeks.