Henrik Stenson on the charge as Matt Fitzpatrick leads in Sweden
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 23/08/19 6:44pm
Matt Fitzpatrick opened up a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Scandinavian Invitation as Henrik Stenson made a huge move on day two in Gothenburg.
Stenson thrilled his legion of home fans with a best-of-the-day 62 which included six consecutive birdies around the turn, earning the Swede a place in Saturday's final pairing with the in-form Fitzpatrick at the Hills Golf and Sports Club.
Fitzpatrick had opened with a confident 64, but he was out of sorts early in his second round as he bogeyed the first before getting the shot back at the fourth and parring the next five to cover the outward nine in 36.
But a birdie at the 10th galvanised the young Englishman, and he went on to pick up further shots on four of the final six holes to return an impressive 65 which gave him the outright lead on 11 under par.
Get the best prices and book a round at one of 1,700 courses across the UK & Ireland
Stenson also bogeyed the opening hole and was flirting with the cut on level par for the tournament, but the 2016 Open champion lifted his spirits with back-to-back birdies at the second and third before another at the eighth sparked a remarkable surge up the leaderboard.
The 43-year-old, who opted against competing in the FedExCup Play-Offs in favour of teeing up on home soil, was in superb touch in all departments of his game as he birdied six in a row, although he then had to settle for a run of four pars before making his ninth birdie of the day at the last to close on nine under.
The fan favourite would end the round in a share of second with Ashun Wu, who started at the 10th and reeled off four straight birdies from the 11th before another at 18th swept him to eight under and within sight of the lead.
The Chinese star, currently languishing at 153rd on the Race to Dubai, then slipped back into the pack with bogeys at the second and third, but he responded with three birdies in a row from the sixth before a par at the last capped a 64 and left him level with Stenson.
Australian Jason Scrivener raced 31 places up the leaderboard as he carded an eight-birdie 63 to join Joakim Lagergren on eight under, while English pair Robert Rock (66) and James Morrison (68) are five shots off the lead heading into the weekend.
Ryder Cup star Alex Noren was grateful for four consecutive birdies in a 67 that ensured he would survive the halfway cut with two shots to spare on one under, while Andrew "Beef" Johnston scraped through despite a late double-bogey seven in his 70.