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Classy Christiaan claims lead in Denmark

Tournament: Made in Denmark Race to Dubai: Tournament 37 of 47 events Venue: Silkeborg Ry Golf Club, Silkeborg, Denmark Prize fund: €1,500,000 Hashtag: #MiD18

Christiaan Bezuidenhout carded a second-round 65 to surge into a two-shot lead over Lee Westwood and Jonathan Thomson on day two of the Made in Denmark.

The South African followed up his opening 66 at Silkeborg Ry Golf Club with a seven under par effort to equal Bradley Dredge's tournament record of 13 under after 36 holes.

Ryder Cup Vice-Captain Westwood matched Bezuidenhout’s 65 to march ominously into contention, with Thomson adding a 68 to his opening 64 to join Westwood in a tie for second – one clear of Sam Horsfield and two ahead of Thomas Detry and Matt Baldwin.

In the race to take the final automatic spot in the Ryder Cup Team, Eddie Pepperell and Matthew Fitzpatrick were facing an uphill battle to claim the victory they needed to potentially overhaul local hero Thorbjørn Olesen.

The biggest 36-hole deficit made up by a winner this season is nine shots by Alex Noren at the HNA Open de France, and Fitzpatrick will at least have to match that after a second-round 68 moved him to four under.

Pepperell was one shot better off after a 69, with Olesen recovering from his disappointing opening day 73 with a second round 68 to make the cut.

If Fitzpatrick were to win, a tie for seventh with one other or better would see Olesen keep the final place, while a top 12 from the Dane would keep a victorious Pepperell at bay.

Player quotes

Christian Bezuidenhout (-13): “The course is playing quite soft so you can attack the flags and be very aggressive. I have played aggressive the last two days and was driving the ball brilliantly and the putter was working well which is a good combination. I made a driver change last week as I was struggling with the driver and that has been all the difference.

“It’s been great to feel some confidence coming back into my game and hopefully I can keep going from here because I have some work to do to keep my European Tour card. If I keep playing the way I have been for the last few days then I am hopeful that I can get the results.

“I have actually been playing well but either just missing cuts or not making good progress at the weekend to kick on and get better results but hopefully this good play will continue from here.”

Lee Westwood (-11): “It was good today. It’s a golf course that I really like. It’s not a case of [pulling driver on every hole. Well you can if you want to but you need to be patient and strategic out there and I have done that well for the first two days and played really well. Just the one bogey and 12 birdies so I am delighted.

“I think it’ll take more than that for me to get a pick! Our team is strong with so many good you players that they don’t need me.

“It’s been great to have Helen on the bag. She is doing a great job out there and she is certainly better looking than Billy, I can tell you that!”

Jonathan Thomson (-11): “I had a good few opportunities out there, played some good golf but had some scrappy stuff in there as well but thankfully I managed to gout out of that and I’m happy with where I am.

“It was certainly a lovely way to finish (he birdied the 9th, his final hole) and I’m in a brilliant position heading into the weekend. I just have to go out there tomorrow and be me. I have been in this position once before but I am just going to take it all my stride and just enjoy it.”

Matt Fitzpatrick (-4): “I definitely left a few out there. I played well today but this feels like the whole season has been. Getting the three / four under and then just not pushing on. The putts seem to have dried up a little but hopefully it can finally turn around over the weekend.

“Obviously I need a very low scoring weekend to win but that is not impossible. It will take a silly low weekend though. I think if I could shoot a couple of 64s then I would have a chance.”

Thorbjorn Olesen (-2): “It was a bit like yesterday. I actually feel really comfortable with the swing and set up but I am just losing it a little bit with the driver and irons. But it’s very close – I just need to find a little bit more.

“I felt a lot more comfortable out there than I did yesterday. I was quite nervous and unsettled yesterday but today I was comfortable the whole way round. I feel like I am very lose to shooting a low number and playing the way I have been for the last three months or so.”

Second round scores:

131 C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 66 65;

133 J Thomson (Eng) 64 69; L Westwood (Eng) 68 65;

134 S Horsfield (Eng) 67 67;

135 T Detry (Bel) 67 68; M Baldwin (Eng) 66 69;

136 M Wallace (Eng) 68 68; H Stewart (USA) 66 70;

137 A Otaegui (Esp) 70 67; T Pieters (Bel) 69 68; N Tinning (Den) 69 68; L Bjerregaard (Den) 66 71; E Van Rooyen (RSA) 67 70; F Zanotti (Par) 69 68; B Rumford (Aus) 66 71; C Hanson (Eng) 70 67; R Rock (Eng) 67 70; C Shinkwin (Eng) 71 66; P Khongwatmai (Tha) 68 69; R Sterne (RSA) 71 66;

138 R Evans (Eng) 67 71; P Angles (Esp) 72 66; P Peterson (USA) 71 67; R McEvoy (Eng) 67 71; A Wu (Chn) 70 68; S Brown (Eng) 70 68; D Drysdale (Sco) 68 70; J Janewattananond (Tha) 67 71; M Southgate (Eng) 68 70; T Lewis (Eng) 70 68;

139 S Kjeldsen (Den) 73 66; J Geary (Nzl) 66 73; E Pepperell (Eng) 70 69; A Chesters (Eng) 69 70; B Dredge (Wal) 71 68; T Bjørn (Den) 70 69;

140 J Smith (Eng) 70 70; S Fernandez (Esp) 67 73; A Olsen (Nor) 72 68; J Walters (RSA) 70 70; J Lagergren (Swe) 68 72; P Oriol (Esp) 68 72; R Bland (Eng) 72 68; R Ramsay (Sco) 69 71; N Colsaerts (Bel) 68 72; J Scrivener (Aus) 71 69; M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 72 68;

141 D Horsey (Eng) 73 68; S Gallacher (Sco) 72 69; J Donaldson (Wal) 67 74; F Dreier (Den) 72 69; G Stal (Fra) 74 67; N Cullen (Aus) 70 71; M Millar (Aus) 72 69;

142 T Aiken (RSA) 72 70; J Hansen (Den) 72 70; J Morrison (Eng) 69 73; O Fisher (Eng) 71 71; O Farr (Wal) 75 67; R Gouveia (Por) 71 71; N Møller (Den) 69 73; T Olesen (Den) 73 69; H Tanihara (Jpn) 71 71; S Vincent (Zim) 69 73; M Fraser (Aus) 74 68; R Wattel (Fra) 73 69; C Ford (Eng) 72 70; J Choi (Kor) 73 69; M Nixon (Eng) 73 69; M Kinhult (Swe) 68 74; H Porteous (RSA) 70 72; P Widegren (Swe) 69 73; A Saddier (Fra) 71 71;

143 G Bourdy (Fra) 71 72; L Canter (Eng) 71 72; J Winther (Den) 73 70; C Koepka (USA) 70 73; Y Miyazato (Jpn) 72 71; T Pulkkanen (Fin) 72 71; L Jensen (Den) 71 72; S Heisele (Ger) 74 69; E Molinari (Ita) 71 72; M Tullo (Chi) 72 71; D Brooks (Eng) 72 71; A Bland (Aus) 71 72; M Calderon (Chi) 71 72; C Blomstrand (Swe) 72 71; M Warren (Sco) 70 73; N Højgaard (am) (Den) 69 74;

144 A Sandhu (Ind) 75 69; M Siem (Ger) 74 70; G Havret (Fra) 69 75; M Armitage (Eng) 73 71; M Schwab (Aut) 71 73; S Khan (Eng) 73 71; J Kruyswijk (RSA) 73 71; J Norris (Aus) 68 76; S Gros (Fra) 74 70; D Ghim (USA) 73 71; G Bhullar (Ind) 73 71; F Aguilar (Chi) 72 72; D Willett (Eng) 69 75; D Burmester (RSA) 75 69; D Boonma (Tha) 75 69;

145 M Lundberg (Swe) 76 69; C Sordet (Fra) 74 71; P Hanson (Swe) 72 73; S Webster (Eng) 72 73; D Lipsky (USA) 72 73; D Howell (Eng) 76 69; H Sturehed (Swe) 70 75; A Connelly (Can) 72 73;

146 A Hansen (Den) 73 73; J Guerrier (Fra) 73 73; A Cañizares (Esp) 75 71; J Wang (Kor) 71 75; S Chawrasia (Ind) 74 72; S Lee (Kor) 76 70; R Højgaard (am) (Den) 75 71;

147 Z Lombard (RSA) 76 71; D Im (USA) 75 72; M Madsen (Den) 76 71; M Jonzon (Swe) 74 73; J Daly (USA) 76 71; J Dantorp (Swe) 73 74; J Blixt (Swe) 75 72; L Herbert (Aus) 74 73;

148 R Karlsson (Swe) 72 76; T Nørret (Den) 73 75; G Green (Mas) 74 74; S Brazel (Aus) 72 76; L Slattery (Eng) 76 72; J Munro (Aus) 79 69;

149 A Dodt (Aus) 79 70; R Green (Aus) 74 75; M Kaymer (Ger) 73 76; F Fritsch (Ger) 77 72;

150 M Foster (Eng) 76 74;

151 C Syme (Sco) 77 74; R Cho (Kor) 74 77; J Van Zyl (RSA) 78 73;

154 S Hend (Aus) 79 75; J Glennemo (Swe) 76 78;

** B Neil (Sco) 71 WD; P Gal (Cze) 84 WD; Ó Serna (Mex) 74 RT; B Hafthorsson (Isl) 78 RT;

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