Michael Hempstock and Daniel Brooks are in front at nine under par in the Ivobank UK Masters at a wet Collingtree Park.
Brooks (Mill Hill) made an early move with birdies at the first, second and fourth holes and picked up six shots in all without dropping one in a fantastic round given the testing weather conditions.
A bogey on the last scuppered Hempstock’s chances of the outright lead at ten under, much to the 21 year-old’s annoyance after he eagled the ninth for the second time and added five birdies in his round of five under.
“I played solidly but I’m gutted about the bogey on 18,” said Hempstock (Doncaster). “The first five holes or so we played in some heavy rain, but I practice in the rain all the time so it didn’t really affect me – you get used to it in Doncaster!”
Hempstock finished joint second in the opening event at Wensum Valley and is in great shape to go one better here. “I feel like I should be up there. I worked hard all winter to be in this position and I’m playing well so I’m happy,” he said.
Tom Haylock was close to joining Brooks and Hempstock at nine under but a bogey on the ninth – his last – means he sits a shot behind the leader. Haylock (HES) carded eight birdies, with five on the back nine but will rue dropped shots at the third and twelfth along with nine preventing him from leading the tournament.
Lloyd Kennedy and Elliot Saltman also shot six under to sit seven under after 36 holes, with the former starting and finishing with two birdies and the latter having an eventful back nine, with two pars, two bogeys, four birdies and an eagle at the par five fourteenth.
Australian Daniel Gaunt built on his first round two under with a round of four under. An eagle at the fourth was followed by a bogey at five, but three more birdies followed to put the Selsdon Park GC man right in the mix at six under, where he is joined by yesterday’s front-runner Noel Fox.
A hole in one on the eighth was the only bright spot for Stoke by Nayland’s Jamie Moul, whose one under for the day left him four over for the tournament.
The projected cut is set around one over par with Friday’s final round beginning at 8am. Live scoring is available by clicking on the Score Updates tab on the righthand side of this page.
Date Posted: 15/05/08