There’s a British feel to the top of the KPMG Trophy leaderboard as Welshman Stuart Manley and Scotland’s David Law share the lead on 13 under par at the halfway stage.
Adding to their respective rounds of 64 on Thursday, the duo both shot 65 on Day Two to sit atop the leaderboard at L’Empereur Golf & Country Club, one shot clear of nearest challenger Carlos Del Moral, of Spain.
Law is yet to card a bogey after 36 holes in Belgium and has 13 birdies, while Manley registered a solitary bogey just two holes into the tournament and has since registered 14 birdies.
Manley, whose only European Challenge Tour win was at the 2013 Finnish Challenge, was pleased with his ‘solid’ second round and is now focussed on working mentally hard over the weekend.
“I’m very happy,” Manley said. “I played solidly today to be honest. I holed some really good putts and wasn’t in trouble very often, which is key around this golf course. Once you start missing fairways it’s tough, but I kept it in play and made some good scores.
“I had a little bit of a blip in the middle of the round. I made some really good pars which kept the momentum going and then played sensibly and attacked when I had the opportunity.
“I’ll just work mentally hard over the weekend to keep pushing. The last month or so I haven’t pushed hard enough so that’s what I’ve worked with alongside my coach to make sure I’ve got the right mental state going into the weekend.”
Scotsman Law carded four successive birdies between the fourth and seventh holes to make a late charge up the leaderboard after going through the first 12 holes with only one gain.
And the 27 year old believes patience was key during his second round and admits that keeping his card bogey-free did begin to play on his mind.
“It was nice to shoot a low one yesterday but to follow it up today with a six under par is great,” Law said.
“I was only one under through nine; I was playing okay but not hitting it close enough really. I managed to stay patient and I had four birdies in a row from the fourth and managed to finish with a nice 15-footer on the last.
“I knew I was one under par, eight under in total so I knew I was in good shape. I always think when you’re in good shape like that, it’s easier to stay patient. I did that well and got rewarded for it in the end.
“Not dropping a shot was on my mind towards the last few holes but going two rounds bogey-free shows that I’m playing well tee to green, putting well and my short game’s good so I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
Del Moral had earlier set the target at 12 under par with a stylish five under par 66, while first round leader Pedro Figueiredo finished a further shot back on 11 under after signing for a three under 68.
The joint low round of the day came courtesy of Thomas Linard. The Frenchman expertly dismantled the testing course, carding seven birdies en route to a bogey-free 64 and a share of fifth place on ten under par. England’s Tom Murray also went bogey-free with a 64 and goes into the weekend on six under par.
Belgium will have three representatives over the weekend with Hugues Johannes leading the way on six under par, while Kevin Hesbois and Gaetan Weydts Caessens sit just above the cut line on four under par.