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Friday, 21 June 2013
Jans Dantorp  (Getty Images)
Jans Dantorp (Getty Images)
Jens Dantorp of Sweden finished with a flourish as four birdies in the final five holes earned him a six under par second round of 65 and the outright lead at the Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts.

On another day of low scoring in perfect conditions at a sun-kissed Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club, the two leaders from the first round - Byeong-hun An and Alan Dunbar - could not build on their course-record opening rounds of 62 and got sucked back into the field, Dantorp capitalising to leapfrog the two former amateur stars.

The 24 year old did not look like threatening the leaderboard early on after he bogeyed the second hole to slip to five under following an opening round 65, but back to back birdies at the fifth and sixth holes got him moving in the right direction.

Another shot gained at the ninth took him to the turn in two under before a scorching finish, with four birdies in the last five holes, elevated him to the summit on 12 under par, one shot clear of Dunbar.

“The course suits my eye,” said Dantorp, who won the satellite Nordic Golf League’s Order of Merit by a record margin in 2011. “It’s really clear what you have to do, you can see the fairway clearly and the heather is almost purple so you can see where you need to put it.

“I haven’t really got myself into contention so far this year so hopefully this week will be different. This week I feel something good has happened and I hope I can bring that feeling into the weekend.”

The Swede spent much of last season rooming with Kristoffer Broberg during a Challenge Tour campaign in which the latter claimed four victories, the third of which earned him automatic promotion to The European Tour.

Dantorp believes he learned a lot from his compatriot, who is currently 75th in The Race to Dubai, and is hoping to follow in his footsteps by graduating from the Challenge Tour.

“I would definitely like to follow him,” said the Malmo man. “I would love to play his type of game. He hits the majority of fairways, and then gets onto so many greens and that gives him so many chances.

“He makes so many one putts it is insane. He was always very good in his age group, he was the one who liked to practise the most and no one could beat him at his home course because he was so good. Now he is taking his game to different parts of the world and doing great and hopefully I can do the same.”

Dunbar, meanwhile, was not too disappointed with his two under par round of 69, despite having broken the course record on the opening day and relinquished the lead he shared with An.

“I think everybody knows that if you shoot a low score like a 62 it’s unlikely that you’re going to play as well the following day so I was happy to get round in two under,” said the 2012 Amateur Champion.

“I hit a lot of good shots and I don’t think I played much better or worse than the first round, I just holed some putts on the first day.

“Today was about going out and keeping it steady and solid and I did that. I made a couple of birdies to start off and that settled me in a little bit and I held on well. It’s tough coming in on that back nine. I just had one bogey on 15 but I had hit two good shots in there and three putted from the back so apart from that it was good.”

There were eight players a shot back on ten under par, including former US Amateur Champion An, Duncan Stewart of Grantown-on-Spey only 15 minutes from this week’s venue and two-time Scottish Hydro Challenge champion Sam Walker.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18-18
T2WALKER, SamENG18-15
T2PAVAN, AndreaITA18-15
T2TILEY, StevenENG18-15
T2AN, Byeong-hunKOR18-15
T6MADDY, PaulENG18-12
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