Thorbjorn Olesen (Getty Images)
Thorbjørn Olesen continued his superb recent form with a scintillating eight under par 64 to take a one stroke lead at the halfway mark of the Credit Suisse Challenge.
After capturing his maiden European Challenge Tour title in The Princess a fortnight ago, the Dane was third in last week’s ALLIANZ Golf Open de Lyon and is firmly in contention once again after a flawless second round at Golf Sempachersee in Hildisrieden, Switzerland.
The 20 year old opened with back-to-back birdies and added four more on the front nine to reach the turn in 30. A run of six consecutive pars followed before Olesen picked up two more shots on the 16th and 17th holes to move to 14 under par for the tournament.
“I played really well today and I actually missed a couple of putts on the back nine so it could have been even better,” said Olesen.
“I was really strong from tee to green and I didn’t get in any trouble at all. The longest putt I had to make was probably four metres. On this course if you hit the fairways, like I did, you can really make a score because the ground is very soft, so I really went after the pins.”
Olesen, who also lost to Dutchman Floris De Vries in a play-off in the Mugello Tuscany Open, currently lies second in the Challenge Tour Rankings and is optimistic he can build on his stunning performances over the past two months.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence at the moment,” he said. “I’m playing really well and I’ve been in contention a lot. I just seem to be much calmer out there than I was at the beginning of the year. I’ve certainly taken a lot of confidence from the last couple of events and hopefully that will help me this weekend.”
Olesen’s nearest rival is Welshman Stuart Manley who came through the field late in the day with a flawless 65. Manley has struggled to make an impact on the Challenge Tour so far this year but his only blemish so far in Switzerland has been a double bogey on the fifth hole in the first round and he posted seven birdies to move into second place on 13 under par.
Frenchman Benjamin Herbert, Sweden’s Oscar Floren and Norwegian Marius Thorp, are one shot further back with Thorp carding seven birdies and an eagle in an impressive round of 64.
Overnight leader Wil Besseling, of The Netherlands, is three shots off the pace after a round of 69, along with Frenchman Alexandre Kaleka who signed for a 66, and Englishman Daniel Brooks and Scotland's Andrew McArthur who both posted rounds of 67.