Course record hands Larrazabal lead

Pablo Larrazabal carded a course record 62 at the Kennemer Golf and Country Club on Friday to take a two-stroke halfway lead at the KLM Open.

The former Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year seemed destined to card the European Tour’s first sub-60 round when he started his second round with six consecutive birdies to turn in 28, but after a somewhat disappointing back nine which included only three more birdies, he had to settle for an eight-under par round.

The three-time winner on the European Tour goes into Saturday’s third round on 10-under par, two shots in front of Romain Wattel (65) and Eduardo Molinari (66).

“I started very fast with birdies on the first six holes and then I tried just to play golf and put myself in position to make some more but the round cooled down a little bit in the middle,” Larrazabal told the European Tour’s official website after his round.

“After starting with six birdies I was thinking, it is a par 70, I only need five more [for a first 59 on The European Tour]. The middle of the round it cooled down but it was a great shot into the last to finish with a 62.

“I was aware of the 59 more than the course record. I thought about the 59 when I started with six birdies. I thought I only need five more to make the magic number, but maybe I put pressure on a bit more. I’ve a few course records around Spain but none on The European Tour, so it is nice.

“It is tough to make birdies here but I putted great. I worked on Wednesday with my coach and my reading is a lot better – I’m making putts. I’m hitting the ball good, not as good as the past, but I’m making putts.”

The 23-year-old Wattel is still looking for his first victory on the European Tour, but admitted from the clubhouse that he was satisfied with how his day had gone.

“That was a really good round,” the Frenchman said.

“I’m really pleased with the way I played. Fortunately I was playing with Peter [Uihlein] who had a good day as well, so that was nice.

“I’ve never played with Pablo before so that could be interesting (if it stays like this). But I’m in a really good position and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
At six-under in a tie for fourth place are three other players.

They are Richie Ramsay (65), Soren Hansen (66) and Peter Uihlein (65).

Defending champion and home favourite Joost Luiten added a second round 70 to his first round 65 to remain on five-under alongside six other players, including Thomas Aiken (68), Brooks Koepka and Mikko Illonen (both 66).