David Drysdale back in hunt for elusive European Tour victory

Just over 12 months after suffering the heartbreak of losing out in a five-hole play-off in Qatar, David Drysdale is back in the mix in his bid to land an elusive first European Tour victory.

David Drysdale flashes a huge smile on his way to a six-under-par 65 in the second round of the Kenya Savannah Classic at Karen Country Club in Nairobi. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.
David Drysdale flashes a huge smile on his way to a six-under-par 65 in the second round of the Kenya Savannah Classic at Karen Country Club in Nairobi. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.

In his 519th start on the circuit, the 46-year-old Borderer sits joint-second, one shot off the lead, after carding back-to-back 65s in the opening two rounds of the Kenya Savannah Classic at Karen Country Club in Nairobi.

Drysdale, who missed the cut in the Magical Kenya Open at the same venue, carded two eagles in his second circuit to set the clubhouse target on 12-under-par.

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That was matched by in-form South African Justin Harding, winner of the first leg of a double-header on Sunday, following rounds of 64-66 before his compatriot, Daniel Van Tonder jumped ahead of them on the back of making three eagles in his second-day 64.

David Drysdale and his wife and caddie Vicky during the second round of the Kenya Savannah Classic at Karen Country Club in Nairobi. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.

Harding is now an impressive 33-under for 108 holes on this course since last Thursday, having landed his title triumph in part one with a 21-under total before keeping his foot to the floor this week.

The 35-year-old looks the man to beat heading into the final two rounds, but Drysdale’s tail is up as well as he bids to land that elusive first success.

The Cockburnspath man chipped in for the first of his eagles at the sixth before holing a 15-footer over a tier to match the feat at the 11th.

His card also contained four birdies and Drysdale is hoping he can keep up the fireworks in his quest to finally enter the winner’s enclosure.

“You just go out and play but it’s hard not to think about it (not winning) – it’s a record I don’t want to have,” he admitted.

“That’s what I’m striving for, to win a tournament or win a few but obviously to get the first one. We’ll see what happens. It’s on my mind, not constantly, but it’s something that’s there.”

A decision to change a driver he used last week when making an early exit following rounds of 72-70 has paid dividends so far.

“I didn’t drive it straight enough last week,” added Drysdale. “I changed the head for last week, lofted it up by a degree to try and hit it higher and keep some more spin on it at altitude and it backfired on me as I hit too many left.

“The more loft you have in your hand the easier it is to hit it left so that was a mistake in my judgement. But I’ve gone back to one I’ve used for most of the season this week and it’s going quite well so far.

“Old-style courses like this are far more suitable to my game. It’s one of these courses that you think is quite fair because everyone can reach the par-5 and everyone can knock it on the par-4s.

“The advantage of hitting it a long way is kind of taken out of your hands whereas a lot of courses we play now the par-5s are 600 yards and only 10 per cent of the field can reach them.”

Calum Hill (68) and Liam Johnston (69) are both on seven-under, sitting joint-25th, with Richie Ramsay (66) and Daniel Young (65) the other Scots still standing on five and four-under respectively.

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