Berry Henson swaps Uber driving for tilt at European Tour glory
A second successive 67 on the Torrance Course at the Fife venue looked set to leave 42-year-old American handily-placed on 10-under-par after the start on day two in the £1.7 million event was delayed by more than three hours due to bad weather.
Henson, who plays mainly on the Asian Tour, where he won the Philippines Open in 2012, briefly held the clubhouse lead before South African Justin Walters came in with a 64 to sit on 12-under.
“I have to be honest, it’s the best two rounds I’ve put together in these types of conditions in my career,” said Henson, who played in the tougher afternoon weather on Thursday and found himself being tested again in his second circuit. “I don’t get to play much of this too often.”
Continuing to make light of his world No 1217 tag, Henson carded an eagle and five birdies in this effort, with his only blemish in 36 holes being a double-bogey at the par-4 13th in the second round.
“As golfers, we probably say we hit four good shots a round, I feel like I’m hitting quite a few in these conditions. which you have to do because there isn’t much room for error out here this week in gusty conditions,” added the Southern Californian.
“I haven’t played much golf in the last two years. Shoot, I was driving an Uber five weeks ago - not that I needed the money but I needed to feel like I had a purpose - and now this week people are watching me out here competing on the European Tour. I’m just enjoying being out here.”
On a day when overnight leader Calum Hill didn’t start his second circuit until 3.30pm due to the delay, Walters swept into pole position after a brilliant effort that contained an eagle and seven birdies.
“A couple of bonuses here and there, but, overall, I just held my mental side of the game,” said 40-year-old Walters, who, like Henson, is chasing a maiden European Tour win.
He attributed a profitable day on the greens to former Scottish Open champion Edoardo Molinari, praising the Italian for the work they have been doing together with the flatstick.
“I got on board with him last year and I think we’ve started to circle the nest,” said Walters. “Last year it was putting inside six feet that was holding me back, and a bit of approach play.
“I was always really strong off the tee, so I’ve been working hard with the team on all aspects and it’s starting to pay dividends.”
Craig Howie, a winner on the Challenge Tour this season, made a huge jump up the leaderboard on the back of a brilliant bogey-free 65.
Watched by his manager Paul Lawrie, the Peebles player birdied the third, fourth and sixth going out before adding further gains at the 11th, 12th, 17th and 18th on his inward journey.
The polished performance, which followed a scrappy 75 in on the opening day, moved him to four-under, jumping up around 60 spots when he signed his card.
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