The former World Amateur Number One was the overnight leader after a superb nine under par opening round of 63 but his second day got off to a disappointing start as a bogey at the second hole knocked him back to eight under par, three shots off the clubhouse lead set by Frenchman Levy.But Uihlein showed true grit as he battled back with consecutive birdies at the eighth and ninth holes.
Two more birdies at the 13th and 14th holes moved him into the outright lead on 12 under par at Zhailjau Golf Resort but he had a disappointing finish as his second shot from the bunker at the 458 yard par four last found the water to the left of the green, resulting in a bogey.While he was not happy with his finish, the in-form 23 year old is hoping that it will prove his worst round of the week as he chases his first title as a professional.
“I didn’t hit my short irons particularly well today,” said the former US Amateur Champion. “I pulled it on the second for my bogey. I had chances after that and didn’t take them but I drove the ball well so I gave myself opportunities. I just didn’t hit it close enough today.“On a course like this there are a lot of birdies, you just have to stay patient. I knew I was going to have a lot of wedges and I started hitting it a little bit better towards the end but I wasn’t as sharp as yesterday.
“I caught my wedge heavy from the bunker on the 18th and it went in the water. In a four round tournament where you’re going to have a lot of birdies, you might have a round where it’s a bit flat and I'm hoping today was my flat round for the week.“If I keep driving the ball well I think I’ll keep having chances and I’ll just work on my wedges tomorrow and be ready to go. I got myself in contention again and hopefully I can put together two good rounds and see how it goes.”
All three of the leaders at the Challenge Tour’s ‘Major’ are chasing their first wins and Levy is a player who has emerged from off the radar, his only top five this season coming at the Fred Olsen Challenge de España in June, where he was third.It was a rollercoaster round for the 22 year old as he opened with a birdie and followed that with another at the third. Back to back bogeys at the fourth and fifth, however, took him back to level par before a superb run of three birdies in four holes took him through the turn in three under par.
A double-bogey at the par four 11th hole looked to have put a dampener on his day, but once again he bounced superbly by bettering his front nine feat as he birdied four of the final five holes with a par sandwiched in between at the 17th.Henry is also vying for the biggest win of his career after the Glaswegian’s five under par round of 67 moved him into the tied lead, after starting the day three shots off Uihlein’s lead.
The 25 year old once again produced a superb finish to move into contention with two birdies on his final two holes, although not quite as impressive as the eagle-eagle finish of the opening day.HP Bacher of Austria and Englishman Seve Benson were a shot further back on ten under par in a crowded leaderboard, with 24 players all within four shots of the lead.