Austria’s Matthias Schwab defied miserable conditions to claim the halfway lead as he chases a first European Tour title in the Made in Denmark event.
Strong winds and heavy bursts of rain made scoring difficult on day two at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort, but Schwab carded a superb, bogey-free 66 to finish eight under par, a shot ahead of Spain’s Alejandro Canizares and France’s Romain Langasque.
Scotland’s Bob MacIntyre, who was joint second in the British Masters a fortnight ago, is two shots further back alongside Alvaro Quiros and Bernd Wiesberger, with Ireland’s Paul Dunne part of a four-strong group on four under.
Schwab, 24, said: “I’m feeling good, I’m happy about how the day went and a little bit happy that it’s over too because, especially early on, it was very difficult and not much fun to be out there with rain and wind and very cold.
“In the end it turned out to be a good day. I usually play okay on courses which are tougher than average on Tour so that suits my game well.
“I guess I’m a good wind player too, really I’m just trying to do my own thing and see what comes out.”
Dunne is seeking a first European Tour title since winning the British Masters in 2017 and offered an honest assessment when asked if another victory was on the cards.
“No, not really, I haven’t been playing very well,” Dunne said. “This is a course I feel comfortable on and I can manage my way around, but I wouldn’t say I’m trending in a great direction.
“My last few months haven’t been brilliant but I’m definitely seeing some good signs and sharpness around the greens which is kind of the key round here when it gets windy.
“There’s four or five holes you just want to get through, get a par out of them, and you can take some chances once you get through 13.” Defending champion Matt Wallace, who finished joint third in the US PGA Championship last week, fell six shots off the pace after struggling to a 73, while Welshman Bradley Dredge had to withdraw due to a pre-existing heart condition.
Dredge had shot 76 in the first round but was two under for 11 holes yesterday before pulling out as a precaution.
Meanwhile, England’s Bronte Law is in a three-way tie for the lead after shooting a six-under 65 on the opening day of the Pure Silk Championship in Williamsburg.
American Jennifer Song also enjoyed a blemish-free round for a share of the lead alongside Law and Anna Nordqvist, who recovered from a bogey on the third to pick up shots on the seventh, ninth and tenth holes before running off four straight birdies through holes 13 to 16.
Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh sits in the chasing pack alongside Brooke Henderson, Katherine Perry, Jacqui Concolino and Jasmine Suwannapura at five under, while defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn finished in joint 65th place after an even-par 71.