Jonathan Thomson roars into contention at KLM Open
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 15/09/18 5:51pm
Jonathan Thomson became the latest European Tour player to flirt with a sub-60 round as he made a sensational second-round charge at the KLM Open.
Thomson, whose runner-up finish at the Made in Denmark boosted his chances of retaining his card, fired a super seven-under 64 as he ended the day three behind Ashun Wu in Spijk.
But the day could have been historic for the young Englishman after making an astonishing start to his round, carding seven birdies over his first eight holes, including six in a row from the 12th.
He was unable to take advantage of the par-five 18th, and he then began the front nine with a bogey which left him needing to play his remaining eight holes in six under to become the first man on the European Tour to card a 59.
Thomson revived those hopes with a birdie at the second, but he had to settle for pars at the next three holes and directed his focus on challenging for the clubhouse lead.
The 22-year-old raced to 11 under with birdies at six and seven, but he made mistakes at each of his final two holes to take a little gloss off an otherwise-stunning 64.
That left Thomson three behind a confident Wu at the halfway stage, the Chinese star posting a seven-birdie 66 which opened up a clear advantage over the field at the halfway stage.
Scottish journeyman David Drysdale, who is also facing a late-season battle to save his card after slipping to 118th on the Race to Dubai, lifted his spirits with a bogey-free 65 which featured five birdies in seven holes.
Drysdale's effort swept him into a share of third with Wu's compatriot, Li Haotong, and Frenchman Benjamin Hebert, while Chris Wood is five shots off the pace going into the weekend after a disappointing back nine on Friday.
Wood cruised to nine under for the tournament with birdies at three of the opening six holes, but he lost his way after the turn and, after a bogey at 11, he followed six straight pars with another dropped shot at the long last.
His back-nine bogeys saw him return a 70, while Jordan Smith, Ashley Chesters and Bradley Neil all followed impressive opening rounds with frustrating 71s on day two.
Eddie Pepperell was another on that list as he fired a one-over 72 despite making an eagle at the sixth, although he dropped his fourth shot of the round at the next and parred in to stay at six under.
Andrew Johnston's tough season continued as a 68 proved one too many to survive the cut, while defending champion Romain Wattell also crashed out on one-over par.