Former European Tour player Warren Bennett shot an outstanding nine-under-par 63 in his second round at PGA EuroPro Tour Qualifying School Final Stage to lead by five shots ahead of Fridayâ€™s closing round.
The Princeâ€™s-based golfer is 14 under par after 36 holes at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire, with Gary King (Tyrrells Wood) second after rounds of 67 and 68 and four golfers tied for third, eight strokes below par after two rounds.
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Bennett began his day as one of seven players leading on five under. He played his second round on the Blue Course and shot nine birdies as he went out in 32 and took just 31 strokes to negotiate the back nine.
In 36 holes Bennett, who won the Scottish PGA Championship at Gleneagles in 1999, is yet to drop a shot. Barring a remarkable reversal of fortunes in the final round he will earn a category three on the 2013 PGA EuroPro Tour, which is awarded to those who finish in the top 30 at Frilford Heath this week.
Despite opening his second round with a double bogey, King, also playing the Blue Course on Thursday, signed for a 68 to close day two nine strokes under par.
Andy Scrimshaw (Close House Hotel and Golf) and Finlandâ€™s Teemu Putkonen (Golf Talma) shared the best second-round score recorded on the Red Course, each signing for 65.
Putkonen is tied third on eight under par alongside Luke Joy (67, 69, Broadstone Golf Club), Spaniard Sebastian Garcia Grout (67, 69, Golf de Poniente) and amateur Scott Brace (68, 68, Stoke By Nayland). Scrimshaw is a further stroke behind as one of five golfers tied seventh.
Qualifying School Final Stage takes place over 54 holes at Frilford Heath Golf Club. All golfers have now played one round on the Red Course and one round on the Blue Course. A cut to the leading 120 players plus ties has now been made. Golfers with a 36-hole score of three over par or better will play a final round over the Blue Course on Friday. All golfers who have missed the cut achieve a category 13 for the season.