Australia’s Scott Hend was even better on Friday than he had been on Thursday and thus has a 1-stroke lead at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.
Hend followed up Thursday’s 64 with a blistering 63 to reach 13-under. That gives him a 1-stroke lead over South Africa’s Darren Fichardt, who shot a 63 of his own to reach 12-under.
No other player is more than 9 strokes under par headed for the final two rounds. After six straight pars to start the round, Hend eagled No. 7 and the race was on He birdied 9, and then rang up four birdies in five holes between 14 and 18 to close with a flourish.
Hend is currently 55th in the 60-man Race to Dubai standings, so winning here would be a huge gain.
Fichardt has yet to make a bogey in the tournament. He had five birdies on Thursday and bettered that with five birdies and an eagle on No. 15 on Friday.
Once again in the mix in the top 10 is American Julian Suri, who continues to make a push for the final spot in the field of 60 for the Race to Dubai post-season. Suri is at 8-under after shooting 67-65.
Hend’s Day One c0-leaders vanished out of the top 10 with rough Fridays. Tyrrell Hatton struggled to a 1-over 71 to drop to 5-under, tied for 18th.
Hatton started off the day with a birdie and was 2-under through 11 before double-bogeying No. 12, a hole he had eagled on Thursday. Bogeys on 16 and 18 put a further damper on his day.
Miguel Angel Jimenez fell back to 3-under with a 3-over 73 on Friday. He was at even par through 12 holes before a double-bogey 5 on No. 13 led to him playing the final six holes at 3-over.