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Friday, 16 August 2019
Robert Karlsson  (Getty Images)
Robert Karlsson (Getty Images)

Robert Karlsson rolled back the years with a 68 to set the clubhouse target on day two of the D+D Real Czech Masters.

The Swede has admitted that he has one eye on senior golf with his 50th birthday coming up next month, but he proved he can still mix it with the young guns as he moved into a one shot lead at nine under.

The 2008 European Number One had gone one shot better on Thursday but in tougher conditions with the rain falling at Albatross Golf Resort, his 68 was one of the best rounds of the morning on day two.

Scot Liam Johnston and England's Lee Slattery were at eight under, with Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, South African Wilco Nienaber, Englishman Matthew Nixon, Norwegian Kristoffer Reitan and South African J C Ritchie a further shot back.

Johnston was the man making the big move early as he birdied the first, sixth and tenth and, when he used the contours of the green to set up a gain on the par five 12th, he held the solo lead at nine under.

A bogey on the 14th then dropped him back and there was a three way tie alongside Karlsson and Slattery.

Karlsson made a hat-trick of gains from the second and while he gave a shot back on the eighth to turn in 34, he picked it back up on the 12th.

Slattery sandwiched a bogey on the 17th with a birdie on the 12th and an excellent putt up the ridge on the third to set the target at eight under but Johnston moved past him from 15 feet on the 16th.

An incredible up-and-down from the rough on the 17th kept the European Challenge Tour graduate at nine under but he could not repeat the feat from the sand at the last.

Karlsson then birdied the 17th to hit the front on his own.

Dubuisson sandwiched an eagle on the 12th with birdies on the fifth, sixth and 16th, while Ritchie made six birdies and a single bogey as both players carded rounds of 67.

Nixon made gains on the second, fourth and sixth but gave a shot back on the eighth before picking up three shots in five holes from the 11th to fly up the leaderboard with a 67 of his own.

Nienaber registered birdies on the tenth, 11th, 12th, 14th and 18th to turn in 31 and briefly share the lead having only turned professional last month.

He never touched the fairway on the fourth en route to making a triple bogey before gains on the sixth and ninth handed him a 68.

Reitan overcame a double and two bogeys with an eagle and three birdies in a 71.

Spaniard Ivan Cantero Gutierrez, England's Ashley Chesters, American Sihwan Kim and Finns Tapio Pulkkanen and Kalle Samooja were at six under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1PIETERS, ThomasBEL18-19
2ARNAUS, AdriESP18-18
T3PAVAN, AndreaITA18-16
T3HORSFIELD, SamENG18-16
T5SCHWAB, MatthiasAUT18-14
T5JOHNSTON, LiamSCO18-14

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