Ross Kellett needed only 28 shots for the first nine holes of his second round at the Cordon Golf Open as he climbed the leaderboard on Day Two in Brittany.
Heavy rain had suspended play on the first afternoon, with Round One completed on the second morning, before the Scot found some inspired form in blustery conditions that did not appear to encourage low scoring.
Only three players have ever shot 27 for nine holes on the European Challenge Tour and Kellett’s outward nine, having started on the tenth, raised hopes that he could join the exclusive ’59 Club’ alongside Adrien Mörk and Nicolo Ravano, who accomplished the feat in Spain last year.
Kellett has previous in that regard. Just the day before Ravano’s landmark round, the 29 year old had left a putt for a 59 of his own in the jaws on the final hole, settling for a 60 – 30 strokes out and 30 back in – on his way to a share of third place.
Today in Brittany, Kellett ultimately signed for a 64 that hauled him into contention on seven under par at the halfway stage, with half of the field still to complete their second rounds before night fell, but he was happy with the move he had made.
“I chipped in on the first for eagle from about 20 yards,” he said. “I birdied the next, chipped in again on the next, holed a long putt on my fourth and next thing I know I’m five under through four and anything is possible.
“I quickly found myself seven under and then had another good chip-in, the third of the day, for a par on my ninth which was good for keeping the momentum going.
“On the back nine I just never quite managed to get back in that groove, it was a bit trickier with the wind really picking up, but it was an exciting round and I’m now in a great position.
“In Spain last year I was low on both nines! I really believe that out here, to win any tournament you need to go low. I’ve always had that in me and golf’s a funny game, you never know when it’s going to come, but I’m not scared to go low and you’ve got to have that in you if you want to do well out here.”
Meanwhile, Birgir Hafthorsson took a firm grip on the tournament, following his opening round of 63 with an excellent 65 to move to 12 under par and four shots clear of his nearest rival Christofer Blomstrand.
The Icelander’s best result of the season was a tie for fourth at the KPMG Trophy but, putting as well as he ever has, he has given himself the perfect opportunity to improve on his current Road to Oman Ranking of 71st this weekend.
“I think I’ve never putted this well in my life,” said the 41 year old. “Once you get that going it can start to seem easy – you don’t really miss shots, you start to feel comfortable, so it was a very good day.
“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, try to keep my putter going. On this course, a four-shot lead is nothing, it can change in one hole, so I’ll just try to keep focused and relaxed and see how it goes.
“You’re in it to win it, so it’s always nice to have a great chance at this stage to try to win the tournament. There’s a lot of good players out here but I think I can win so we’ll have to see.”
Of the players to have completed 36 holes, Blomstrand is Hafthorsson’s nearest rival on eight under par, with Kellett one shot further back in a share of third alongside 2013 Cordon Golf Open winner Andrea Pavan and Mark Tullo.
Round Two will resume tomorrow morning – for full latest scores, see here