With home heroes riding high and a birdie blitz, not even a weather delay could dampen the spirits on day two of the Betfred British Masters.
Here's everything you need to know about Friday at Hillside Golf Club.
New approach, familiar position for Wallace
Matt Wallace has arrived at in Southport this week with a new approach to his golf but it hasn't stopped him doing something he is used to - sit at the top of a leaderboard. The four time European Tour winner stayed bogey free through 36 holes with a 67 that moved him to 12 under, a shot ahead of Thomas Detry, Ross Fisher, Niklas Lemke and Richie Ramsay. Wallace insists his new focus on the bigger picture does not necessarily involve winning soon, but he could well be a winner on Sunday.
Lemke's birdie bonanza
Just three months ago, James Nitties became the first player in European Tour history to make nine consecutive birdies in a single round and Lemke almost matched him on Friday. After making a first birdie of the day on the 13th and with the help of a chip-in on the 16th, the Swede made eight in a row and hit a beautiful tee shot on the third in his quest for nine. Unfortunately, his second shot found the greenside bunker and while he made wonderful up-and-down, a par ended his tilt at history. Still, one of the players to make eight in a row is a certain Seve Ballesteros, so Lemke is in pretty good company.
Making a statement
We love a bit of flair here on the European Tour and two of the men who rarely let us down in those stakes were impressing again in Southport. Robert Rock's hair has gained a bit of a cult following in the golfing world due to his usual lack of hat. The Englishman covered his beautiful Barnet on Friday but of course, he did not let us down with his choice of headwear.
Scott Hend's shoe game is another thing of wonder, rivalled perhaps only by Miguel Angel Jiménez, and he was sporting these beauties on day two.
Just waiting here in the locker room to get back out and start again.... will be a chilly restart..... @EuropeanTour @RaimondiGolf @privateestatefx @british_masters #rain #backoutsoon #goodfun #greatcourse #greatcrowds #golfinUK pic.twitter.com/qJQMXPKq4Y— Scott Hend (@hendygolf) May 10, 2019
Howell did he do to pull that back?
David Howell has not teed it up on a Saturday on the European Tour since the Portugal Masters in September, missing ten cuts with one disqualification in that time. And when he bogeyed three of his opening four holes to slip to three over it looked like that run would continue. But you do not claim five European Tour wins and play on two victorious Ryder Cup Teams without having some grit, and he made a hat-trick of birdies from the seventh and added two more on the 11th and 17th to make the cut on the mark.