Duo ready for tussle in Brussels

24/05/2013 20:26:00
Robert Dinwiddie (Dean Mouhtaropoulos)
Robert Dinwiddie (Dean Mouhtaropoulos)
Two former European Challenge Tour winners, Englishman Robert Dinwiddie and Roope Kakko of Finland, will top the bill in the weekend battle at Royal Waterloo Golf Club as they were tied at the top on nine under par after the second round of the Telenet Trophy.

The pair, just ten months apart in age, are experienced campaigners on the Challenge Tour with Dinwiddie having claimed three wins since 2007 and Kakko having sealed a sole victory back in 2004.

They will need all of their guile over the testing, old-style Royal Waterloo layout but Dinwiddie is the man in form having carded a six under par 65 on day two to move into the lead midway through the day before being joined at the top by the Finn.

The 30 year old from London made a positive start as he birdied the second and third holes before picking up two more shots to reach the turn in four under par.

A chip-in at the 12th hole for par helped maintain his momentum before he birdied the following hole and another at the par five 17th moved him two shots clear of the pack.

“I got a couple of birdies early on and got under par quickly and then I played pretty steady for the most part after that,” he said.

“I sank a couple of ten-footers and holed out well for the most part. The chip-in for par was pretty nice, it was good to keep the momentum going.”

Dinwiddie recently took a sabbatical from the game after a difficult spell of form but believes his escape to Thailand was exactly what he needed to gain perspective on his life and his game.

“I played in India in January at the Gujarat Kensville Challenge, played rubbish and just didn’t want to be there so I ended up going to Thailand for two months,” said Dinwiddie, who has twice graduated for The European Tour via the Challenge Tour.

“I put the clubs away for ten weeks. I needed it. I had never done anything like that before - just completely switch off and live a different lifestyle and forget about golf for a while.

“I put some work in since then and I think I'm working on the right things. Even today it’s still not where I want it to be but I'm getting it right more of the time.”

Kakko, meanwhile, has had time away from the game recently but for a completely different reason - having suffered an Achilles injury - and while he had problems with his back in the cold conditions in Belgium, they did not deter him as he added a three under par 68 to his opening 65.

“My front nine was really good but I got really tired on the back nine and my lower back is killing me,” said the 31 year old.

“It was one of those things where I was not swinging great on the back nine but I’m super happy to have finished with two birdies, it took a lot out of me to make those fours.”

In-form Dutchman Tim Sluiter was among those in the seven-strong chasing pack on seven under par, after he finished with two birdies on his final three holes to sign for a four under par 67.

The 2010 Trophée Hassan II winner on The European Tour, Rhys Davies, was also in tied third after a three under par 68 moved him into contention for a third Challenge Tour title.