Friday, 09 August 2013
Ross Kellett  (Getty Images)
Ross Kellett (Getty Images)
Ross Kellett will be hoping to take inspiration from his room-mate Stuart Manley, winner last week on the European Challenge Tour, after the Scotsman’s one under par 71 handed him the lead at the Norwegian Challenge before round two was suspended due to darkness.

Following heavy rain and flooding on the opening day at Losby Golf Club, near Oslo, the first round resumed early on day two before the second round teed off in the afternoon, meaning Kellett was forced to play 36 holes in one day with just a 25 minute break in between.

It was a long but successful day for the 25 year old, who has missed the cut in his last five appearances on the Challenge Tour, as he turned his fortunes around with the best round of his professional career early in the day, a nine under 63 which earned him the first round lead.

And he held on to that lead after starting strongly with a two under par front nine in the afternoon, before struggling with tiredness and headaches on the way back. But he battled to a one over back nine and a one under round to take a one-shot lead on ten under par.

“I was actually feeling quite poorly on the way in so I was happy to just get in under par for the second round after such a good start,” said the Motherwell man, who was second reserve for the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team at Royal Aberdeen in 2011. 

“To follow that first round with another under par one is all I wanted. I definitely felt tired towards the end. I'm not used to playing 36 holes now, but I played every weekend as an amateur and I suppose that stood me in good stead.

“I got the good side of the draw, now that I don’t have to be up early tomorrow to finish my first round like some of the lads. It was a good day’s golf today though.”

Kellett admits it is a totally new experience for him leading going into the weekend on the Challenge Tour, where his best finish was tied 26th at the Scottish Hydro Challenge as an amateur five years ago, but he won on the satellite Alps Tour last season and he is looking forward to chasing a maiden victory.

“It’s certainly different for me,” he said. “It’s a new experience but I suppose this is the reason we play this game and practise and if I don’t put myself in these positions then I’ll never know how to deal with it.

“It’s where I want to be. I’ll probably feel a bit nervous at times but that’s a good thing and I’ll just play golf and see what happens. There’s a lot of golf to be played and there are a lot of good players behind me and what will be, will be.”

Kellett is sharing a room with Manley this week, who claimed a maiden victory at the Finnish Challenge last week, and said it was nice to feel the positive vibes from the Welshman.

“He came in whistling all day at the start of the week so it was good to see,” said Kellett. “Hopefully I can do what he did but I don’t want to get ahead of myself either.”

With the second round suspended overnight and only a few of the afternoon groups through nine holes, the cut is likely to fall around midday Saturday - weather depending - before the third round tees off in the afternoon in a U-draw format.

The two closest men to Kellett, Englishmen Phillip Archer (71) and Jason Barnes (70), are both in the clubhouse on nine under par while Eirik Tige Johansen (67) is leading Norwegian in the clubhouse, three shots off the pace on seven under par.

Alongside him are Italian Marco Crespi (69), a winner on the Challenge Tour already this year, and England’s Jack Senior (70), while Oslo man Anders Engell is on seven under par having negotiated the opening five holes of his second round in one under and Benjamin Hebert is level through eight holes having opened with a seven under par first round.


 

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