Friday, 17 February 2012
 Peter Whiteford   (Getty Images)
Peter Whiteford (Getty Images)
Peter Whiteford will be taking things one step at a time this weekend after edging closer to a first European Tour victory at the Avantha Masters.

The 31 year old Scot carded a second round 68 at DLF Golf & Country Club to establish a two shot lead over Thailand’s Prom Meesawat at the halfway stage in New Delhi.

“I wouldn't say the swing feels brilliant, but sometimes that's when you play your best golf, when you're struggling a wee bit,” said Whiteford, who came closest to breaking his duck when he came second at the 2010 Open de Andalucía de Golf.

“I just need to concentrate. To be ten under is very good, but I wouldn't say I'm overly confident. I just need a good round tomorrow to be in contention come Sunday.”

Sharing the lead with Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares overnight, Whiteford moved to ten under par at the halfway stage with six birdies, three bogeys and an eagle three on the long sixth.

Meesawat birdied five of the last six holes in his best-of-the-week 64, while France’s Jean-Baptiste Gonnet compiled a 69 to sit third on seven under alongside Australian Kieran Pratt (66) and Thai duo Chapchai Nirat (67) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (69).

Whiteford was only one under for his outward nine, but curled in a 20 foot birdie putt at the fourth.

That was followed by a bogey at the next, but after reaching the green in two at the 538 yard sixth he sunk a 30 foot eagle putt and birdied the short eighth for good measure.

“I had a sticky patch at the start - it was freezing cold this morning and it's a lot harder,” added Whiteford.

“But once it warmed up a bit I started to play a bit better and gave myself a few chances. I had a good eagle on the sixth which kick-started me a bit to finish well. I hit driver and a six iron and then holed a good putt, about 30 feet across the slope.”

Meesawat put his stunning eight-birdie, bogey-free effort down to a strong performance on the greens.

“I putted really well today,” he said. “Luckily, I didn't have to use much of my driver on this course. I just played with my three-wood and my putting worked today.

“Everything is going well and it's good. I've been working very hard in the off season by going to the gym. People said that I've lost weight but I don't think so. I still weigh the same and I think I've bulked up a lot - I'm getting stronger and more consistent.”

Gonnet’s round looked to have come undone with a double bogey at the 12th, but he recovered well to birdie the 14th and 18th for a three under par round.

“I've just got to be patient and keep doing the same things, as they have worked well so far,” he said. “I think it's going to be very tough. The key is being patient.” 

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