José-Filipe Lima continued his impressive run of form with a lowest-of the-day round of 65 to take a share of the lead at the midway stage of the Rolex Trophy.
The Portuguese is currently second in the Challenge Tour Rankings after a stunningly consistent campaign which has yielded six top tens, including a brace of runner-up finishes at the Norwegian Challenge and the Mugello Tuscany Open.
With season’s earnings of €80,192 Lima has already guaranteed a return to The European Tour for 2014, but the 31 year old is determined to add to his tally of three Challenge Tour titles and has a golden chance of doing just that after moving to ten under par at Golf de Genève.
Earlier in the afternoon, Sweden’s Jens Dantorp and England’s Robert Dinwiddie both shot rounds of 67 for the second day in succession to lay down a marker which was met late in the day by Lima.
Lima said: “Apart from the stupid bogey on the last, I was very pleased with how I played again today. I’ve been playing very consistently all season, mainly because I practised so well over the winter. I also feel fitter and stronger than I have done for a long time, which has made a very big difference. I had a few back problems over the past couple of years, but now I feel great.
“My goal now is to try to win the Rankings, which would be a fantastic achievement so it is a really big ambition of mine. To do that I will need to win at least once, and my coach is really pushing me to win. Of course he’s happy with how I’ve been playing, but he’s not happy I haven’t win yet – so I need win to get him off my back! Hopefully it can happen this week, but if not there will hopefully be other opportunities later in the season.”
Meanwhile, a change of attitude – and shoes – helped Jens Dantorp rediscover his best form.
Dantorp admitted to feeling mentally fatigued at the Norwegian Challenge, a tournament he withdrew from after suffering severe blisters in his feet caused by a new pair of shoes.
But having spent last week playing for fun with friends back home in his native Sweden, Dantorp duly rediscovered his love for the game and came into the Rolex Trophy with focus renewed.
His restored belief was in evidence during an opening round of 67 at Golf de Genève, and whilst an errant driver meant he was only able to match, rather than better that effort on day two, Dantorp was understandably delighted with a ten under par total at the halfway stage of the elite €228,000 event.
He said: “I made a lot of birdies today, and would’ve made more if my driving was better. Most of my bogeys came about because I didn’t find the fairway, but I probably hit more good shots than I did yesterday, so I would’ve been disappointed if I hadn’t shot at least a 67.
“I’ve actually been hitting the ball quite well lately, but I’ve made far too many mental errors. I just haven’t been with it – I was going through the motions a little bit. Maybe I was getting too lazy and not really focusing properly, but after playing with some friends back home last week I really started to enjoy the game again, and that’s continued this week.
“The format this week has also helped me enjoy the tournament, because it’s nice to meet and play with other people. Of course there’s still a serious side, but it’s good to chat between shots and find out a little bit about your playing partners. They also played well today, so it was just a really fun day all round.”
Dinwiddie’s campaign has been something of a curate’s egg, with five missed cuts cancelling out some impressive performances in the Czech Republic (tied second) and St Omer (fourth).
As is usually the case, the reason for Dinwiddie’s inconsistency has been an inability to hole his fair share of putts, but having switched back to a Scotty Cameron putter, the Englishman is hoping he has finally found the right formula on the greens.
Dinwiddie, who won the Rolex Trophy in 2007, said: “I’m a little bit surprised I’m tied for the lead at the minute, because I thought someone would’ve gone much lower today. But I’m certainly not complaining, because I’ve been hitting the ball nicely.
“It’s been an up and down season – the weeks I’ve done well have been the weeks I’ve putted well. It’s as simple as that really. I’ve changed putter this week, and have putted pretty well so far so it’ll be staying in the bag a bit longer. I’m starting the ball on line more often, and surprisingly enough it’s going in the hole more often!”
Overnight leader Daniel Gaunt endured a difficult start to his second round, making a triple bogey at the par third three third hole, but rallied impressively on the back nine to sign for a round of 72 and join Denmark’s Thomas Norret (69), Spain’s Adrian Otaegui and American Brinson Paolini (both 70) in a share of fourth place on nine under par.
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