Friday, 01 July 2016
Aaron Rai shot a three under par 68 to take the halfway lead at the Made in Denmark Challenge – Presented by Ejner Hessel on the European Challenge Tour. 

The Englishman was one behind at the beginning of the day after carding a six under par 65, and he made a fast start at Aalborg Golf Klub, picking up a birdie at the par four 10th hole – his first of the day.

The 21 year old, who narrowly missed out on a spot at The Open Championship after losing a play-off to Robert Rock on Tuesday in Final Qualifying at Woburn, then continued his hot streak, making three further gains to reach the turn in 31.

Despite dropping a shot over his last nine holes, the Challenge Tour rookie was delighted to reach nine under par and is looking forward to the weekend.

“It was a good, solid round,” said Rai who earned a card for the 2016 Road to Oman season after finishing in the top five on the satellite EuroPro Tour.

“It was pretty steady overall. It was a little bit more tricky then it was yesterday with the wind and the rain.

“I just tried to do the same things as yesterday – as boring as it sounds. I kept trying to keep the ball on the fairways and tried to hit the greens and luckily enough I got a few close and made a few putts. My short game was the key really.

“I am really enjoying my first season on the Challenge Tour. The standard of play is very high and the winning scores are really low and that brings you on as a player. There has been a great atmosphere around at each event and it has been awesome so far.

“First and foremost you need to see what the conditions are going forward with regards to my game plan for the rest of the week. It was pretty breezy this morning and the wind picked up this afternoon so I think that will affect your plan also. 

“Overall I will try and stick to the same sort of things – just keep the ball in play and try and build a score.”

One shot adrift of Rai were overnight leader John Hahn and England’s Jack Senior, who qualified for The Open Championship earlier this week after finishing first in Final Qualifying at Hillside Golf Club.

Aaron Rai

Home favourite Mads Søgaard shot the round of the day, carding six birdies on his way to signing for a five under par 66.

Italian amateur Michele Cea made a birdie on his final hole to card a par 71 and reach one over par overall – the cut line for the tournament.  

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