Alex Belt shot a second-round 65 to lead the PDC and World Snooker Open by two strokes to James Heath ahead of the final day of the 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour event at Collingtree Park in Northampton.
Belt (De Vere) is nine under going into Fridayâ€™s final 18 after signing for a seven-under round on Thursday (June 20). Heath (Robert Heath Heating), who won his Challenge Tour card by finishing fourth on EuroPro Order of Merit in 2010, added a 69 to Wednesdayâ€™s 68 to put himself into contention on seven under. Ben Herbert and George Woolgar (Capitalservices) share third place on six under.
Leader Belt had missed the cut at each of the first three 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour events this season, but says getting back to basics has paid off.
â€œI havenâ€™t been playing overly well this week,â€ admitted Belt. â€œI have been overthinking things so the key has been trying to keep everything basic and try and enjoy myself, which I havenâ€™t been doing recently.
â€œI had been putting a bit of pressure on myself and I think it was taking a little bit of time to get into a groove at the start of the season.
â€œI have had the lead a few times now and each time I have made a few mistakes early on. I am going to stick to the same thinking I have had over the last two days.â€
Beltâ€™s second round was unblemished. He got off to a fantastic start with five birdies on the front nine and also broke par at 14 and 17.
Heâ€™ll tee off alongside James Heath in the final group on Friday (June 21). The 2010 EuroPro Tour Championship winner made bogey twice on the second day, denying himself a share of the lead.
This is the first time third-placed Ben Herbert has made the cut in five 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour events and rounds of 70 and 68 have left him just three off the top after 36 holes. He made five birdies on day two at Collingtree Park, with a solitary bogey on the seventh.
Also three off the lead is George Woolgar, who won the Buildbase Open at Frilford Heath on the 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour in 2012 but has since missed nine months through injury before his return at Burhill two weeks ago. The Chesterfield man has shot 69 twice so far this week and is six under.
Paul Reed, David Walker, Mark Laskey, Simon Lilly and Graeme Clarke will know a good final round could see them claim the Â£10,000 winnerâ€™s prize. The quintet are five under par, four strokes behind leader Belt.
A cut to the leading 50 players plus ties has now been made, with all golfers one over par or better playing Fridayâ€™s last round in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Spectator entry to Collingtree Park is free and a two-hour highlights package of the event will be broadcast five times on Sky Sports HD on Wednesday, July 3.