Jonathan Caldwell was exceptional once more, this time on the Creek Course as he moved right into contention at the halfway stage of the ISPS Handa Vic Open.
The Clandeboye professional has looked right at home in Australia this week and followed up a first round five-under par 67 with a second five-under par tally to reach double-digits heading into the weekend.
The 13th Beach Golf Club was playing host to a unique week on the 2020 Race to Dubai, with both a men and a women’s tournament being played over the same courses for the equal prize money.
The field will play the Creek Course and the Beach Course on days one and two but will now move to the Beach Course for the weekend as the Vic Open makes its second appearance on the European Tour.
But it doesn’t matter which of the two tournament courses is in play it seems for Caldwell who fired four birdies and an eagle on Friday to move to within four shots of Frenchman Robin Sciot-Siegrist’s lead at 14-under par.
“I’ve been playing pretty solid all year, so nice to get another good week and two rounds under my belt,” said Caldwell.
“It’s a long way to come for one week but looks like it’s worth it. Nice weekend to make it definitely a worthwhile trip.”
And Caldwell will have a familiar face for company over the weekend rounds too after Ardglass rookie Cormac Sharvin ensured his first pay cheque of the season.
The 27-year old fired five birdies in a blemish-free round of 67 on the Beach Course to move just inside the top-30 at seven-under par.
It’s very much allez allez bleu for now however with Sciot-Siegrist taking the lead into the weekend for the first time at a European Tour event after carding a brilliant bogey free 64 on day two.
The Frenchman was playing the Creek Course at 13th Beach Golf Club and despite facing the windier afternoon conditions, he made eight birdies to get to 14 under and lead the way.
Local favourite Travis Smyth was his closest rival at 12 under after a 67 on the Beach Course, one clear of four more Australians in amateur Jed Morgan, Jake McLeod, Matthew Griffin and Min Woo Lee.
Sciot-Siegrist won the Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open presented by Modest! Golf on the European Challenge Tour in 2017 and agonisingly missed out on graduating by one spot last season after finishing second at the Grand Final and 16th on the Road to Mallorca.
He did not let that disappointment distract him as he went on to secure his card at the Qualifying School and will now go in search of a first European Tour title.
“It was a great round,” he said. “It was similar to yesterday, I played really good golf and putted really well. Overall just a very nice round and everything is going great.
“In general, I don’t have many expectations. I’m just trying to do my job, like really do what I need to do on the course and during practice rounds and everything. When I’m playing, obviously there’s pressure and everything, but I’m just trying to do my best and we’ll see at the end.
“There’s two more days, we’re only halfway. I played really good golf, hopefully it continues like that.”
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