Scott Hend grabs one-shot lead at Omega European Masters
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 10/09/17 3:46pm
Scott Hend fired a bogey-free 63 to take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Omega European Masters.
The Australian birdied four of his final five holes to set the clubhouse target at Crans-Sur-Sierre, with Darren Fichardt close behind on 12 under after surging up the leaderboard with a back-nine 29.
Thongchai Jaidee is one of three players tied for third spot and four shots off the pace, with Matt Fitzpatrick in the group a further stroke adrift.
Holding a share of the lead after the opening round, Hend drove the par-four seventh green and rolled in the eagle putt before adding a 10-foot gain at the ninth.
The world No 98, who lost out in last year's tournament in a play-off, ended a run of pars with two-putt birdies at the 14th and 15th and picked up further shots over his closing two holes.
"It would be nice to putt a little bit better but when you walk off with 63 it's fantastic," Hend told Sky Sports. "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."
South African Fichardt followed an eagle-three at the 15th with birdies at the 16th and 18th to match Hend's 63, with morning pacesetter Jaidee joined on nine under by Fabrizio Zanotti and Todd Sinnott.
Overnight joint-leader Tyrrell Hatton bogeyed two of his final three holes to card a one-over 71, as Lee Slattery opened with three straight birdies on his way to a round-of-the-day 62.
Defending champion Alex Noren safely made it through to the weekend with a three-under 67, as Lee Westwood - making his 500th European Tour start - lies 11 strokes off the lead.
Watch the Omega European Masters throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports Golf. Live coverage continues on Saturday from 12.30pm.