Laurie Canter (Getty Images)
Laurie Canter continued his impressive form on day two of The European Tour’s Qualifying School First Stage Section D, adding a round of 70 to his opening 65 to maintain his advantage at Frilford Heath.
The former amateur star mixed five birdies with three bogeys at the Oxfordshire venue to climb to nine under par and lead by one shot from his fellow Englishmen Jack Senior (68) and Curtis Griffiths, whose six-birdie round of 67 was the joint lowest of the day.
Griffiths’ effort was matched by Liam Bond, who led at the midway stage of the ISPS Handa Wales Open at The Celtic Manor Resort in August. Bond’s round of 67 carried the Welshman to six under par and gave him every chance of repeating his feat of 12 months ago, when he won the Qualifying School First Stage at Frilford Heath.
Meanwhile, in the concurrent qualifier held at Golf d’Hardelot, northern France, South African Haydn Porteous produced a quite stunning round of 62 to overtake his compatriot Louis de Jager at the top of the leaderboard.
Porteous notched nine birdies in a flawless display in Hardelot to leap to the head of affairs on ten under par, four shots clear of De Jager (71) and Ireland’s Niall Turner, who dropped just one shot in his round of 67.
One shot off the lead were Frenchman François Delamontagne, who has 207 European Tour appearances under his belt, and Scotsman Paul Doherty, brother of Challenge Tour regular Jack, who struggled to a 76 at Frilford Heath.
With 102 players competing at each venue this week and only the top 24 and ties progressing to the Second Stage, the competition is sure to be intense over the final two rounds.