Mallorca, Spain: Marco Penge has company after day two of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A as he is joined by Tom Vaillant after 36 holes at Club de Golf Alcanada.
The duo, paired together in the final group, shot rounds of four under par 68 on a blustery Friday as both players look to secure a DP World Tour card come Sunday evening.
England’s Penge had a flurry of five birdies in seven holes on his back nine to reach eight under total, but a bogey five on the 18th hole dropped him back to seven under.
Over the moon
“I’m over the moon with the first two rounds. Conditions have been so tough, and I’m pleased with my performance round here” said Penge.
“My game over the last few weeks hasn’t been in the best place but I believe playing in the wind has helped me out because the swing doesn’t have to be perfect technically it is more about being creative.
“My aim at the start of the year was to finish in the top 20 on the Rankings and if that was to happen it would be amazing. I’m focussing on getting better with each season and whatever will be will be. I still believe I have a long journey ahead of me but I’m happy with how things are going.”
Frenchman Vaillant had the better start to the day, after having to finish off his last hole of round one this morning with a birdie on 18, he then carried that momentum with two birdies in his three opening holes of round two.
A two horse race it seemed throughout the afternoon as Vaillant kept within touching distance of the Englishman and birdies on 13, 15 and 18 meant he joined Penge at the top of the leaderboard on seven under par.
“I’m very happy with my round today. I kept fighting all day long tried to create as many opportunities for birdies as I could,” said Vaillant. “I had to manage myself around the course and thankfully I am in a strong position heading into the weekend.”
“It was great to finish with a birdie on the last and it’s important to keep the momentum going. It’s tight at the top of the leaderboard but I enjoy the pressure. I’m going to concentrate on my job and see where I finish at the end of the week.”
Low round of the week
Frenchman Frederic Lacroix posted the low round of the week so far with a seven under 65, 10 shots better than his opening round, to move into third place on four under par. Currently placed in 25th on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, he would move up 11 spots to 14th if he finishes solo third.
2011 Challenge Tour Number One, Andrea Pavan, posted a five under 67 to move himself into solo fourth on three under par. Ther Italian is projected to finish top of the Road to Mallorca Rankings and therefore would become the first man in history to be crowned Challenge Tour Number One twice.
Rounding up the top five is American Julian Suri, UAE Challenge Champion Max Rottluff and Ireland’s Conor Purcell on one under par.
There will be a two-tee start again tomorrow with strong winds forecasted, with the first group off at 08:00 local time and the final group at 09:24.