Jeppe Huldahl overcame blustery conditions to fire a six under par 66 as the Dane grabbed a share of the clubhouse lead with Simon Dyson midway through the second day of the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open.
On a morning when the majority of the field struggled to play to par at the New Kuta Golf Club, Huldahl fired seven birdies against just a single bogey to reach the halfway mark of the US$1.25 million co-sanctioned tournament on five under par.
He was joined on that mark by 2006 Indonesia Open champion Dyson, who followed his opening 68 with a one under 71.
India’s Gaurav Ghei (68), Scott Drummond of Scotland (69), and the English pair of Ross McGowan (71) and Simon Griffiths (70) were a further stroke back on four under after the morning rounds, although everyone in the field was still trying to close the gap on first round leader Angelo Que.
The Filipino had a four stroke lead at the conclusion of the first round after shooting an eight under par 64 yesterday, and increased his advantage with a birdie on his first hole after teeing off in the afternoon. But he soon dropped back to seven under par after bogeys at the third and fourth holes.
The morning belonged to Huldahl, who bounced back from a disappointing finish yesterday, when he bogeyed his final two holes in the gathering gloom for a one over par 73.
The Dane began well with birdies on two of his first three holes, and despite a bogey on the fifth, he made the turn in 33 after consecutive birdies on the seventh and eighth holes.
He continued his surge up the leaderboard on the back nine with birdies on the 11th, 15th and 16th, which put him in a handy position for the weekend.
“I finished my first round really poorly yesterday but today I played a little better. It was still not brilliant, but I’ve got to be happy with my score,” said Huldahl who regained his European Tour card after finishing tenth on the Challenge Tour last year.
“I think I found almost every fairway, which always helps. I missed about two greens but scrambled the ones I missed, so it was a good day at the office.”
While Huldahl will be hoping to improve on his best result so far this season – a tie for 23rd at the Joburg Open – the 26 year old is reluctant to look too far ahead just yet.
“There’s 36 holes still left to play, so I don’t want to think too much about how I finish. It’s just nice to get into a good position going into the weekend,” he added.
Dyson was one of 42 players who had to return early today to complete their first rounds following a two-hour suspension of play yesterday due to heavy rain and the threat of lightning.
He parred the final hole for a four under par 68 for his opening round, but quickly dropped to two under after bogeying two of his first four holes in the second round.
“The first few holes this morning were really tough – I don’t think I’ve played five tougher holes all season,” said the York native.
“I was two over through five, and I was actually pretty pleased with that. The wind was pretty brutal. You only have to look at the first few groups out – there were hardly any birdies on their first few holes.
“There were guys making sixes, sevens and even eights, so I was pretty happy to be only two over through five.”
The 31 year old dug in and made four birdies against only one more bogey the rest of the way, which put him in contention for his second Indonesia Open title in four years.
“My nine foot birdie putt on the last was a good way to finish. It was nice to shoot under par, because overall I probably deserved it.
“I’m playing well at the moment, and the more the round went on today, the stronger I felt. I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing, try to conserve energy, and hopefully I’ll have a good weekend.
“My all-round game’s been in good shape, without setting the world alight. Now I’ve just got to try to take it to the next level. Hopefully it’ll all click into place one week – maybe this week will be that week.”