Finch off to a flyer

11/29/2013 9:20:00 AM
Richard Finch   (Getty Images)
Richard Finch (Getty Images)
England’s Richard Finch soared into the lead as the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship began at Leopard Creek Country Club.

The former Irish Open winner, who lost his full playing card at the end of last season, had five birdies in his first 12 holes to advance to nine under par.

Victory on Sunday would hand the 36 year old a swift reprieve and return to The European Tour, and Finch had moved one ahead of overnight leader Morten Ørum Madsen.

Last week’s winner and early Race to Dubai pacesetter Madsen endured a mixed bag on day two, with an eagle, three birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey seven at the long 13th in his first 13 holes.

Finch’s compatriot Ross Fisher had also come racing out of the blocks on Friday, and at six under through ten holes had joined Portugal’s Ricardo Santos in a share of third on six under.

Things went from bad to worse for Madsen when his tee shot on the fifth found the water guarding the green, leading to a double-bogey five.

And even though he bounced back with a birdie on the short par four sixth, at seven under par he found himself three off the lead after Finch holed from close range on the par five 15th for his sixth birdie of the day.

Fisher and Santos had also picked up another shot to join Madsen on seven under, while British Amateur Champion Garrick Porteous had set the early clubhouse target on four under after a 69.