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Compatriots William Harrold and Jason Palmer lead the way at ten under par atop a congested Foshan Open leaderboard.

They are a shot clear of Bernd Ritthammer, who is alone in third place less than one week on from his podium finish in Chongqing, while a further four players are queued up behind in a tie for fourth after 36 holes of the second event in the European Challenge Tour’s Final Swing.

As part of that quality quartet in close attendance are another three Englishmen – Jason Barnes, Daniel Gaunt and Chris Hanson – while Pelle Edberg of Sweden rounds out the group on eight under.

Overnight leader Palmer did not quite pick up where he left off on Friday morning, but he did card six birdies to counter three dropped shots and record a 69, on a day when he was not quite on his best form at Foshan Golf Club.

“I’m pretty pleased with that as it wasn’t all plain sailing today,” said the 30 year old from Kirby Muxloe in his native East Midlands. “I didn’t feel as comfortable as I did yesterday with my swing, so I probably need to hit the range for 30 minutes to find what I was doing so well yesterday.

“The times that I have played my best this year have always come in a relaxed three ball and those guys today were really good fun to play with. We were all making plenty of birdies, so you do feed off each other, and it was a really fun three ball.

“I just need to do the same as I have been doing. There is no secret to it, you just need to keep it in the fairway, keep hitting the greens and keep giving yourself chances. I feel like I am putting pretty well, so if I can keep doing that, I can shoot some good scores.

“Usually I’m quite comfortable on the greens, but I find I can be quite streaky. Some weeks it feels like if I hole one, I’ll hole more and more, whereas if I don’t, like last week for example, it feels like there is cling film over the hole. It’s nice this week though, as the holes seem to be taking the balls, so long may that continue.”

Harrold is alongside Palmer thanks to a second consecutive 67 in Foshan City, one that included seven birdies and two bogeys, thanks to some impressive form on the greens.

At the start of the season the 26 year old was preparing for a year on the satellite EuroPro Tour, but a maiden title at the Belgian Challenge in June changed all that.

As a result he enters this weekend at 39th on the Rankings and safe in the knowledge that a win this week could change not only his year, but his career. He insists that he will try not to think about it over the final 36 holes, but did admit to having a few looks at the leaderboard during a stellar Friday afternoon with the putter.

“It was similar to yesterday on the greens, but I didn’t hit it as well off the tee, so I was in the rough a bit more,” said Harrold. “My chipping and putting were nice though, and I managed to even surprise myself with a few putts, so it was steady.

“Belgium was good experience, but it is always so different each week, so you can put it under your belt but it is a long way away. There is so far to go yet, and there are loads of players bunched up, so obviously I will just try and do the best I can.

“I did have a few peeks at the leaderboard today, but I was trying my best to go through my routine and commit to the shots as best I can. It will be the same again tomorrow though, and hopefully it goes well.”

Ritthammer is once again in position to move up the Rankings after a 69 in the second round propelled him to within one of the lead, and more importantly, within touching distance of a maiden Challenge Tour title at the halfway stage.

The German is the best of the rest with two rounds to go, but those behind have plenty to play for after some impressive form of their own – namely Barnes (70), Edberg (66), Gaunt (69) and Hanson (68).

Overnight leader Ricardo Gouveia had been alongside Palmer after 18 holes, and while he might have managed to get over his jetlag, he wasn’t quite able to match his heroics of day one after a level par score.

The winner of the EMC Golf Challenge Open a few weeks ago is still in good position though, just three shots adrift, and has Spain’s Pedro Oriol and Swede Pontus Widegren for company in a share of eighth.

There are also 11 home grown players who have qualified for the final 36 holes, with Ding-feng Liang the best of those, having carded rounds of 66 and 72 to finish six under par and in a tie for 11th place heading into the weekend.

Golf Scores after round two:

134 J Palmer (Eng) 65 69, W Harrold (Eng) 67 67,
135 B Ritthammer (Ger) 66 69,
136 D Gaunt (Eng) 67 69, C Hanson (Eng) 68 68, P Edberg (Swe) 70 66, J Barnes (Eng) 66 70,
137 P Oriol (Esp) 68 69, R Gouveia (Por) 65 72, P Widegren (Swe) 68 69,
138 J Fahrbring (Swe) 70 68, A McArthur (Sco) 68 70, L Ding-Feng (Chn) 66 72, H Joannes (Bel) 70 68, C Paisley (Eng) 68 70,
139 Z Guo-Wu (Chn) 71 68, E Espana (Fra) 72 67, B Evans (Eng) 67 72, P Maddy (Eng) 71 68, M Wiegele (Aut) 70 69, M Tullo (Chi) 69 70, M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 69 70,
140 J Guerrier (Fra) 69 71, A Marshall (Eng) 73 67, S Dong (Chn) 71 69, M Delpodio (Ita) 74 66, G Murray (Sco) 69 71, M Orrin (Eng) 68 72, R Coles (Eng) 71 69, J Huldahl (Den) 67 73, J Senior (Eng) 68 72,
141 B An (Kor) 73 68, A Velasco (Esp) 70 71, R McGowan (Eng) 69 72, C Shinkwin (Eng) 71 70, B Åkesson (Swe) 74 67, T Pilkadaris (Aus) 71 70, T Sluiter (Ned) 70 71, H Ze-Yu (Chn) 67 74, P Dwyer (Eng) 70 71, S Tiley (Eng) 72 69, J Lando Casanova (Fra) 70 71,
142 N Ravano (Ita) 72 70, P Relecom (Bel) 74 68,
143 O Zheng (Chn) 72 71, M Lafeber (Ned) 71 72, C Ford (Eng) 73 70, D Law (Sco) 70 73, T Linard (Fra) 72 71, J Roos (RSA) 73 70, A Hortal (Esp) 71 72, C Yi (Chn) 72 71,
144 Z Hui-Lin (Chn) 72 72, F Bergamaschi (Ita) 70 74, R Davies (Wal) 71 73, H Shao-Cai (Chn) 74 70, A Tadini (Ita) 74 70, N Lemke (Swe) 71 73,
145 Y Tian (Chn) 71 74, H Wen-Yi (Chn) 72 73, W Weijun (Chn) 74 71,
146 J Lagergren (Swe) 75 71, L Fangyi (Chn) 75 71, Z Jin (Chn) 73 73, A Bernadet (Fra) 70 76, W Wei (Chn) 76 70, L Jensen (Den) 73 73, N Quintarelli (Ita) 70 76, W Haochuan (Chn) 77 69, J Da-Xing (Chn) 74 72, W Booth (Sco) 75 71, C Bouniol (Fra) 74 72,
147 X Bowen (Chn) 78 69, L Chun (Chn) 76 71, C Hai-Meng (Chn) 75 72, L Gagli (Ita) 76 71, D Coupland (Eng) 74 73,
148 S Henry (Sco) 72 76, A Björk (Swe) 78 70, C Xiao-Ma (Chn) 75 73, H Ming-Jie (Chn) 73 75, L Xin-Yang (Chn) 78 70, S Brown (Eng) 75 73, S Zihan (Chn) 75 73,
149 C Aguilar (Esp) 72 77, H Ren (Chn) 74 75, F Zhi-Peng (Chn) 71 78, J Edfors (Swe) 78 71,
150 J Chuan-Lin (Chn) 75 75, H Jian (Chn) 73 77, O Farr (Wal) 76 74,
151 C Ding-Gen (Chn) 76 75, C Zi-Hao (Chn) 77 74,
152 D Chen Xiao (Chn) 80 72, A Rota (Ita) 73 79, L Hao-Yuan (Chn) 76 76, Q Da (Chn) 80 72,
153 Z Xiongyi (Chn) 82 71, W Zi-Ting (Chn) 77 76, Y Yi-Nong (Chn) 77 76,
154 Y Hao (Chn) 76 78, M Yiyuan (Chn) 74 80, X Zhi (Chn) 78 76, L Gui-Ming (Chn) 75 79,
155 M Cheng-Yao (Chn) 77 78, L Jun-Feng (Chn) 77 78, F Shuanglong (Chn) 79 76,
156 Y Quan (Chn) 78 78, J Rask (Swe) 78 78, S Chuan (Chn) 78 78,
157 Z Wei-Yu (Chn) 80 77, Y Zheng (Chn) 78 79, Z Jia (Chn) 79 78, G Si-Xian (Chn) 74 83,
** W Wei-Huang (Chn) 79 WD,
160 X Se (Chn) 78 82,
161 X Qin (Chn) 77 84,
** P Shuai (Chn) 80 WD,
161 H Yong-Le (Chn) 86 75, L Xiaofei (Chn) 88 73, Z Zi-Hong (Chn) 78 83,
** Y Guang-Ming (Chn) 80 WD,
163 S Qiang (Chn) 79 84,
166 L Zi-Wei (Chn) 87 79,
172 O Zhi-Jun (Chn) 87 85,
** X Cheng (Chn) RT 0,

Source: European Tour

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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