Stephen Gallacher and Rasmus Hojgaard share Oman Open lead
Stephen Gallacher and Rasmus Hojgaard claimed a share of the lead at the halfway stage of the Oman Open.
The pair fired rounds of 67 and 68 respectively to move to nine-under 135 after 36 holes at the Al Mouj Golf Club, one clear of Nicolas Colsaerts (67) and Kalle Samooja (65).
Scotland’s Gallacher, who at 45 is 27 years older than 18-year-old Dane Hojgaard, had five birdies in his flawless round as he chases a third European Tour victory in the Middle East.
Hojgaard, who became the third-youngest winner in European Tour history when he won the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open earlier this season, carded an eagle at the 12th, five birdies and three bogeys.
Gallacher, who won back-to-back Dubai Desert Classic titles in 2013 and 2014, said: “It’s a good spot to be. But there’s still a lot of golf to be played. My aim will be to do the same things I’ve been doing.
“It’s supposed to get windy at the weekend and I’ll go and relax now and try and save my energy for that.”
Gallacher claimed his first victory for five years in last season’s Indian Open but missed 16 cuts in 22 events and started 2020 with two more before a closing 66 in the Saudi International gave him a tie for 21st.
“I had been struggling a bit and changed some things,” added Gallacher, whose son and caddie Jack was born nine days before Hojgaard.
“I worked on things before going to Saudi, started to hit some good shots there and it’s amazing how things snowball.
“You start to chip better, you start to putt better and you start to compete. By Sunday, you just want to have a chance to win coming down the stretch.”
Colsaerts, who won last year’s Open de France for his first victory since 2012, matched Gallacher’s 67 with seven birdies and two bogeys.
“I was a little bit in the zone actually,” said the 37-year-old Belgian. “I was playing shot after shot, I had what we called the ‘good eyes’ today, there was not really any shot that really frightened me even though there’s a couple that are pretty difficult with this wind.
“Winning last year and knowing that you have an exemption just makes your life a lot easier. You take weeks for what they are and you don’t really pay attention to where should I be or how scores are moving, you just worry about your own game. It’s a very comfortable situation.”
Dutchman Joost Luiten, the 2018 champion, English pair Richard McEvoy and Robert Rock, Italy’s Guido Migliozzi, who could only manage a 72 after his pace-setting 66 in the first round, and South African Brandon Stone are three shots off the lead in a tie for fifth place on six under.
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