Clément Sordet delighted the French fans as he topped the leaderboard of Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge at the halfway point after carding a second successive round of 65.
The Frenchman’s total of 12 under par after two rounds was good enough for a one shot lead at Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil, ahead of Ross Kellett, with a clutch of players one shot further back on ten under par.
Sordet, winner of this season’s Turkish Airlines Challenge, was tied for second in this tournament two years ago when still an amateur, and he is using memories of that and his Challenge Tour victories to fuel his campaign to become the first home winner of this event.
“It was a really good round,” said the 23 year old. “I pretty much didn’t miss a shot and I was really confident on the greens and made some good putts, so it was a good day.
“I have some good memories on this course from when I shot a good eight under two years ago and I really like this place – it’s really tricky and it’s playing quite different this year but I’m enjoying it so far.
“After winning twice in the last year I wouldn’t say I’m calmer, I just know what I have to do which is just play my game and not look at the scores, then see what happens at the end.
“My putter has been on fire this week so we’ll see if I can keep that going until the end of the tournament. I made some really good putts and it always feels really good to see the ball going in, but there’s still half of the golf left so we’ll have to see over the weekend.”
Sordet enjoyed his first taste of Major Championship golf last week at Royal Troon after qualifying for the Open Championship with a runner-up finish in last December’s Thailand Golf Championship and that experience has given him added motivation going forward.
“Last week was amazing,” he said. “It was pretty much a dream come true and now I know why I’m waking up in the morning, because I just want to be with these guys every week.
“It was pretty amazing to see all these great players – at one time I was hitting balls on the range next to Rory McIlroy and it was pretty hard to concentrate!
“It was a really good experience and I hope I can learn from it – I would say there’s not that big a gap between the top players on the Challenge Tour and them, but they have so much experience.
“Their short game, too, is unbelievably consistent, so that’s why they keep playing well every week and that’s what I need to try to keep my putting going – it changes everything, it makes you more confident and you can go for the pins.”
Kellett continued the fine form that last week earned him a tie for third in the Fred Olsen Open de España, a 67 the fifth of the Scot’s last six rounds to be below 70.
In a tie for third going into the weekend are Alexander Bjӧrk, Nick Cullen, Dylan Frittelli and first round leader Sebastian Heisele, with Polish amateur Adrian Meronk catching the eye after a fine 66 that took him to nine under par and inside the top ten.Defending champion Ryan Fox, playing with Sordet, was five over par today to finish on one under par overall and make the halfway cut – along with 68 others – by one shot.