Everything you need to know from the second round at Close House Golf Club.
The leaders kept it clean, Miguel almost added to his record haul and the socially distanced fist bump became a thing.
Here is everything you need to know from Thursday at Close House Golf Club.
Clean cards the order of the day
It was telling that none of the top three at the halfway stage dropped a shot on Thursday. Leader Renato Paratore and Dale Whitnell, who is only one back, have kept a bogey off their card for the first 36 holes, while Justin Harding, who sits alongside Whitnell after a best of the week 63, did not have a blemish on Thursday.
Højgaard keeps his cool
While plenty of players used lockdown to sharpen their golf game, Rasmus Højgaard took a more relaxed approach. “Once Covid started, I took a long break from golf, played some Playstation with all my friends and spent quite a lot of time on that. Otherwise I’ve just been playing golf and been quite chilled,” he said. Given the Dane is eight under going into the weekend, his decision appears to have paid off.
Whitnell makes his mark on the big stage
Whitnell was part of Great Britain and Ireland's 2009 Walker Cup side but it has taken the 31-year-old 11 years to earn a full European Tour card since turning professional. Whitnell only made one cut in six events before lockdown, and was yet to break 70 on Tour this season coming into this week. However, rounds of 68 and 64 have ended that run and left him well placed to mount a challenge over the weekend. “I’ve been working hard on my game, practising hard and this course suits me,” he said. “I’ve been playing well, through lockdown I’ve worked hard – it's actually been a good lesson for me because I had been struggling with my golf swing and I’ve worked hard with my coach Craig Lockwood at home, and that’s massively paid off. I was struggling with my swing and wasn’t focussed before lockdown. I played six events on the European Tour and only made one cut. I just wasn’t very confident, the lockdown has actually helped me and I’ve scheduled my practice a bit better, and that’s really helped.”
Jiménez almost marks record appearance in style
Miguel Angel Jiménez holds more than his fair share of European Tour records and the veteran Spaniard equalled another this week by joining Sam Torrance on 706 appearances. Nobody has hit more holes-in-one than Jiménez and he almost added another with this fine effort.
Socially distanced caddie acknowledgement
With players and caddies having to keep their distance in the current climate, it would be easy for bag carriers not to feel the love. Luckily Miguel has a solution.