Austrian Roland Steiner fired a second consecutive five under par 65 to open up a commanding five stroke lead at the halfway mark of the Allianz Open Cotes D’Armor – Bretagne on the European Challenge Tour.
The 27 year old posted seven birdies and two bogeys for the second round in a row at Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val André to move to ten under par 130 for the tournament.
Steiner has taken confidence from a fine performance in his homeland last week when he finished tied 10th in the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda, having also been ten under par at the halfway stage.
On that occasion he was tied in second place, seven shots behind runaway leader Andrea Pavan going into the weekend and feeling the need to apply some pressure. But with his own dominant advantage this time, Steiner will have the tables turned over the final two rounds in France.
“Last week I thought I had to try to catch up as Andrea has such a big lead and the putts just didn’t drop on Saturday,” he said. “This year though I’ve learned to be patient and just focus on each shot and that’s what I’ll try to do this weekend.
“Today’s round was very solid and I had plenty of chances. I was second in an Alps Tour event three weeks ago and then tenth last week in Austria so I’m playing well and feeling confident.”
Steinerbegan his round on the tenth hole where he collected his birdie of the day, picking up further shots on the 12th, 16th and 17th before the turn. Another birdie followed on the first – his tenth – before a rare hiccup when he three putted from seven metres on the third. That was soon rectified with a birdie on the fourth and although another bogey came on the fifth, Steiner picked up a shot on the seventh to head into the weekend full of confidence.
“I’m playing consistently and I’ve been 10 under after two rounds two weeks in a row now so I’m feeling good about my game,” he said.
A group of five players on five under par form Steiner’s nearest competition, with Swedish pair Andrea Högberg and Steven Jeppesen joined by Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, Welshman Kyron Sullivan and French amateur Mathieu Decottingnies Lafon.
Leading the home challenge, Decottignies Lafon signed for a 67 while Jeppesen carded a 68 and Högberg, Fleetwood and Sullivan all signed for rounds of 69.