Peter Whiteford to the “four” in Egypt

Peter Whiteford finished with four birdies in his second round in Egypt

Peter Whiteford finished with four birdies in his second round in Egypt

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Fifer Peter Whiteford finished with a flourish to put himself in contention at the halfway stage in the Red Sea Egyptian Challenge on the European Challenge Tour.

The 35-year-old reeled off four straight birdies at the end of his second round at Sokhna Golf Club as he backed up an opening 68 with a five-under-par 67.

He is sitting joint-third, four shots behind Englishman Jordan Smith, who cemented top spot with a 68 to sit on 13-under-par.

Scott Henry also heads into the final two rounds in a promising position, sitting just two shots behind Whiteford after scores of 69 and 68.

Whiteford, who signed for eight birdies in total, lost the European Tour card he’d held for four seasons at the end of 2014.

The Kirkcaldy man struggled to find his feet back on the Challenge Tour last year, finishing 45th in the Race to Oman.

But he’s hungry to earn a place back at the top table, where he came close to victory in 2013, losing to Australian Brett Rumford in a play-off at the Ballantine’s Championship in South Korea.

Henry’s four-under-par effort included a run of five birdies in seven holes from the 13th after he, too, started at the 10th.

Alongside Whiteford on four-under at the start of the day, David Law and Ross Cameron both dropped back to three-under and only just made it into the final two rounds.

Law needed a birdie-2 at the ninth - his last - to survive while Cameron’s matching 73 included a flawless two-under-par inward journey.

The four other Scots in the field - Ross Kellett, Duncan Stewart, Jack Doherty and Paul Shields - all made early exits as the cut fell at three-under.

Smith, a 23-year-old who won twice on the PGA EuroPro Tour to top the Order of Merit and qualify for the 2016 Road to Oman, picked up five birdies while dropping only one shot iin his second circuit.

He heads into the final 36 holes two shots ahead of Germany’s Philipp Mejow after his 65 for 11-under.

“I was very solid today,” said Smith, a former Walker Cup player. “It was always going to be hard to keep up what I did yesterday (an opening 63), but I am very happy.

“Winning twice on the EuroPro Tour has given me confidence that I can go on and win. I am also used to leading from the front and will look to keep it going.”

Frenchman Romain Langasque, last year’s Amateur champion who is making his pro debut in the event, sits joint-31st on five-under after rounds of 67 and 72.

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