Michael Hoey’s hopes of securing his European Tour card for next season remain on track as he made the halfway cut with ease at the Foshan Open in China.
Michael Hoey / Image from Getty Images
Hoey, who currently finds himself just five places out of the top-15 on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah standings, fired a bogey-free three-under-par 69 to move up 13 places on the leaderboard to a share of 26th spot on minus five.
In all, 63 players survived the halfway cut of three-under-par, including Chinese amateur Enqi Liang, who will begin the third round at 7.12am local time on Saturday October 20.
Jack Singh Brar retained his position on top of the leaderboard but now shares the lead on 11-under with Ewen Ferguson, Victor Perez and Callum Tarren.
Singh Brar was playing in one of the first groups of the day at Foshan Golf Club and set the target at 11-under-par with a two under second round, before quickly being joined by Ferguson and Perez, who shot eight under and seven under, respectively.
David Law and Mark Flindt Haastrup threatened to pull alongside the group on 11 under — although they had to settle into a tie for fifth on ten under. Tarren would eventually get there, signing for a four under par 68 to join the pacesetters.
Ferguson tied for the low round of the day with Sean Crocker and Ben Evans and afterwards the Scot was delighted with his day’s work.
“It was a really good round,” he said. “I played the back nine first and had a couple of bogeys but I really got going on the front nine.
“There’s no better feeling in golf than feeling like you’re playing well and that’s how I felt on that front nine. I was holing putts and it felt really good.
“I actually felt quite nervous standing over that birdie putt on the last but I managed to hole it and now I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
Englishman Singh Brar, who took a two-shot lead into Day Two, admits patience was required during a round where he didn’t give himself enough good chances to score.
“I didn’t quite have it on my front nine but on the back nine I got a few birdies in a row which got me to 12 under and then I made a bogey and just parred in.
“I just didn’t put it close enough. I tried to stay patient and I finally got rewarded with the three birdies on the back nine. It’s hard to keep pushing when you’re up there so I just tried to take my chances when I had them.
“It felt like the pins were a bit harder today because I wasn’t getting as close. I kept having 30 feet for birdie rather than 15 feet.”
Perez, who has finished inside the top-15 in his last six European Challenge Tour starts, believes he took full advantage of the benign early conditions on Day Two.
“You’ve got to take advantage of those early tee times,” he said. “I think I did it well last week in Sanya and again here this week.
“You come out early and have good greens; the course is in good shape, good greens and no wind so you’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities. You’ve got to stay patient because you have so many chances.
“I feel like I’ve been in this situation a lot recently and I’m getting more and more comfortable. It’s about doing the same thing.
“I feel like my process is working well and I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and see where it takes me over the weekend.”