Victor Riu maintained a two stroke advantage at the Bad Griesbach Challenge Tour by Hartl Resort after a second round 69 saw him finish on 12 under par.
The Frenchman leads from Norway’s Eirik Tage Johansen who shot one of the rounds of the day, a six under par 66, which had seen him lead at the end of the morning’s play, while Dutchman Daan Huizing is on the same mark at ten under par after a 68.
Riu started on the tenth with three birdies in his first four holes, and despite that fast start, which saw him regain his overnight lead, he was not able to push on like yesterday.
Pars followed as he made the turn, before his only bogey of the day at the par five third saw him drop back towards the chasing pack. The 28 year old bounced back in fine style though three holes later, making his final birdie of the round at the sixth to ensure he finished the day as he started, two shots clear.
“My game was solid like yesterday, although I didn’t hole the putts like I did in the first round,” admitted Riu. “I’m feeling good with my game though, hitting the ball solid, and I will just try to keep this going on the weekend.
“This is the first time I am leading a tournament on the Challenge Tour, and I’m excited to be in this position, and it will be great to play well this weekend. I will certainly try my best.”
Norway’s Johansen carded a second round 66 to post ten under par in Bad Griesbach, having got his round off to the perfect start on Friday morning with three birdies in a row from the tenth, before picking up a further shot at the 16th hole en route to a front nine of 32 strokes.
Johansen didn’t stop there as he turned for home, rattling off another trio of red figures from the first to leapfrog Riu momentarily at the top of affairs, before a bogey at the par three fourth saw him finish at ten under par.
“To be honest today was just a solid round of golf,” said Johansen. “Yesterday I had four birdies having hit 18 greens, so I made it easy for myself, but today I got off to a good start with three birdies in a row at the beginning, then I made one on 16. I had a three footer that didn’t want to go in on 17, before I made another three in a row after the turn. So it really was a good, solid round.
“I’ve just got a new driver in the bag as my old one got a crack in it last week, so I had a new one sent out to me here, and I teed up with it and it felt good. It was a little bit of a joker, or a wild card, this week as to whether it would be a good fit, but it was, and I feel good.”
On the same mark, at ten under par, is Huizing, who carded a second round 68 in the last group of the day to grab a share of second alongside the Norwegian.
Huizing only turned professional last October, and came here fresh off a tie for second at the Karnten Golf Open presented by Mazda last week in Austria, and he is excited to be in contention once again.
“It was an eventful round, not the best ball striking, and I saw a few different places, but I got away with a few things so it was effective scoring.
“It will be different this weekend as I am really in contention here, whereas last week I was never contending for the win, as I was up there but not that close. It will be different, but this is what you work for, so let’s have fun tomorrow and make a few more good swings as there are plenty of opportunities out there.
“I’m really looking forward to it. Two weeks ago I wasn’t expecting to be in this position, so it is a big bonus and I’m going to play my own game and see where it gets me.”
Also in contention are Italy’s Andrea Pavan who continued a rich run of form this season with a second round 67 to finish in a tie for fourth, and he’s alongside Jermome Lando Casanova and David Palm, three strokes back at nine under par.
Edouard Dubois, Jeppe Huldahl, Terry Pilkadaris and Manuel Trappel are all in a tie for seventh at eight under, while Nicolas Meitinger is a shot further back in a tie for 11th place, and the leading German.