Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Steven Brown  (Getty Images)
Steven Brown (Getty Images)

Steven Brown refused to be blown off course as he took a two-shot halfway lead at the Made in Denmark Challenge – presented by Ejner Hessel after a second round of 65 took him to 13 under par.

The draw had looked to be kinder to the morning starters as strong winds picked up in the afternoon at Royal Oak Golf Club but, out after lunch, the Englishman did not drop a shot, birdieing his final two holes for the outright lead.

The 30 year old’s season has been trending towards this kind of performance, most recently shown when tying for fourth place at the KPMG Trophy, and he is hopeful he can continue this form through the weekend as he bids for a maiden European Challenge Tour title.

“It obviously went really well,” he said. “I didn’t expect a score like that was out there this afternoon because the wind was up as soon as I got here and it only got stronger so it didn’t feel like a day to go low.

“I managed not to get myself into any trouble. I played really well yesterday as well but today was a lot more pleasing because of the wind – I just kept it in play and made some birdies coming in.

“Playing in that wind will actually hold me in good stead going into the weekend because I expect it’s going to be like that again so it was good practice for the next couple of days.

“The last four rounds I’ve had – the final two in Belgium and then the first two here – have been for four rounds in a row as good as I have ever played, so I’m really happy with how my game is going right now.

“The difference with me now is that I’m going out there to try to win rather than just do well – for too long my mindset was that I’d just see what happens whereas now I know you need to shoot 20 under most weeks to have a chance to win, so that’s what I’m actually now trying to do.

“We’re only halfway there so I can’t really think too much about it, I’ve got to keep doing the same, but I’ve had the halfway lead before and I’m a lot more comfortable with it now than I maybe was in the past.”

Sharing second place are Oscar Stark and Toby Tree, both of whom were bogey-free in reaching 11 under par after 36 holes, with Road to Oman leader Julian Suri two shots further back in a tie for fourth spot.

Alongside the American are Dominic Foos, the youngest winner in Challenge Tour history, and Paul Howard, who recovered from an early double-bogey to birdie four of his closing six holes and remain in contention in Kolding.

Overnight leaders Thriston Lawrence and Manuel Trappel both struggled to match their opening rounds but comfortably made the cut, which fell at two under par, along with seven Danes, the best of whom is Niklas Norgaard Møller on six under par.

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