Hend goes top after stunning 63
Australian looking to go one better than last year at Crans Montana
Australia’s Scott Hend is in pole position to go one better than last year after taking the halfway lead in the Omega European Masters.
Hend, who lost a playoff to Sweden’s Alex Noren at Crans-sur-Sierre 12 months ago, carded an eagle and five birdies in a second round of 63 to finish 13 under par, a shot ahead of South Africa’s Darren Fichardt.
“It would be nice to putt a little bit better but when you walk off with 63 it’s fantastic,” said Hend, whose children and their nanny are set to evacuate their Florida home to avoid the possible landfall of Hurricane Irma.
“I feel like I’ve been playing really well for the last four months and really wanted to get in the Presidents Cup team.
“I didn’t quite make it there which was a bit of a disappointment and I feel like I have a point to prove to myself that I’m good enough to mix it with those boys.”
Fichardt recorded four birdies and an eagle in a 64 which left him three strokes ahead of Thongchai Jaidee, Todd Sinnott and Fabrizio Zanotti, with England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick alongside Ryan Fox and Julian Suri on eight under following a 65.
Lee Slattery, who watched his wife Faye give birth to the couple’s second child Penelope via FaceTime earlier this week, improved 13 shots on his opening 75 with a brilliant 62 to finish three under.
Defending champion Alex Noren was alongside Slattery on three under after a 67.
Ireland’s Paul Dunne made the cut right on the mark after a one-over 71 dropped him back to level par for the tournament.
Australia’s Scott Hend: lost a playoff to Sweden’s Alex Noren at Crans last year