Calum Hill has a fight on his hands at Challenge Tour Grand Final

Scotland's Calum Hill reacts to his shot from the second tee during day 2 of the Challenge Tour Grand Final in Mallorca. Picture: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images
Scotland's Calum Hill reacts to his shot from the second tee during day 2 of the Challenge Tour Grand Final in Mallorca. Picture: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images
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Calum Hill has a fight on his hands in the final week of the Challenge Tour season in his bid to graduate to the European
Tour as the top-ranked player in 2019.

The 25-year-old Fifer, who headed into the season-ending Grand Final in the No 1 spot, sits joint-16th at the halfway stage after opening rounds of 73-71 at Club de Golf Alcanada in Mallorca.

The slow start, coupled with his main rival Francesco Laporta opening with scores of 68 and 69 to lead on five-under, has dropped Hill below the Italian in the projected standings with two rounds to go in Port d’Alcúdia.

Connor Syme, who came into the event in 12th spot in the rankings and on course to make a return to the main tour, is alongside Hill after matching his scores in both rounds.

Ewen Ferguson, the third Scot in the field and bidding to climb into a card-winning top-15 position in the rankings with his final throw of the dice, is sitting above his two compatriots in joint-seventh on level-par after a second 71.

Also in Spain, Craig Howie enjoyed a good day in the second round of his European Tour Qualifying School stage-two event at Las Colinas, adding a 67 to an opening 69 to move into joint-fifth.

Euan Walker slipped to joint-16th at the same venue after following a first-day 65 with a 74 while Ryan Lumsden also lost ground at Alenda Golf, where a 79 left him in joint-44th alongside Sam Locke (73-75).

Daniel Young (67-73) sits joint-fifth at Daniel Springs while bad weather disrupted play at the Alenda Golf, where Bradley Neil shared the overnight lead after an opening 66.