Friday, 20 October 2017
Ben Evans  (Getty Images)
Ben Evans (Getty Images)

Ben Evans gave his chances of regaining his European Tour playing privileges a major boost as he set the clubhouse target on day two of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation.

The Englishman is no stranger to the fight to keep your card, claiming the last available spot in 2015 despite not entering that season with a full exemption.

He lost his card last term but has once again battled despite a limited schedule and needs a top 35 finish at Real Club Valderrama to have a chance of getting it back.

A second consecutive round of 69 on Friday moved him to four under, two shots behind overnight leader Sergio Garcia who had played five holes of his second round.

England's Robert Rock was then at five under after seven holes, with Richard Finch, Andrew Johnston and Joost Luiten alongside Evans playing the front nine.

Oliver Wilson needs a win this week and he was at three under after a 70, a score matched by Portuguese Ricardo Gouveia.

Jamie Donaldson, Anders Hansen, Pablo Larrazábal and Edoardo Molinari were then in the clubhouse at two under.

Evans discovered he was in this week while he was in China playing the Hainan Open on the Challenge Tour last Friday and has endured a long trip back to Spain.

He admitted that preparation was not ideal but it does not appear to have had an adverse effect as he became the first player to start with two sub-70 rounds at Valderrama since 2010.

Evans bogeyed the second but birdied the sixth to turn in 35 before recovering from a dropped shot on the tenth with gains on the 11th, 12th and 17th.

Garcia had a single gain on the sixth while Rock also had one birdie so far on the 11th after starting on the back nine.

Johnston - playing alongside Garcia - had birdies on the second and fifth, while Luiten had a bogey on the fourth in his first six holes.

Finch needs to finish second this week to be able to keep his card and he was two under after three with birdies on the tenth and 11th.

Wilson's chances looked to be gone as he bogeyed the first, eighth and tenth but he came roaring back with birdies on the 11th, 13th, 14th and last.

A made cut could be enough for Gouveia to keep his card via the Access List and he also overcame a slow start, cancelling out bogeys on the second, fourth and eighth with birdies on the 12th, 16th, 17th and 18th.

Hot back nines appeared to be the order of the day and Donaldson birdied the tenth, 11th, 14th and 17th after turning in 35 for a 67 that was the lowest round of the day so far.

Dane Hansen is also safe for next season courtesy of the Career Money List and he fired a 70, with Larrazábal posting a 73 and Molinari a 71.

Paul Peterson needs a top five this week and he was also two under after six holes alongside Ricardo Gonzalez, who had played two and needs a top two finish.

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