June 30, 2018: Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult produced stunning second round 65 to move clear of Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas – two of the world’s top five players – and Ryder Cup player Chris Wood at the halfway mark of HNA Open de France, the third Rolex Series event on the European Tour in 2018.
India’s Shubhankar sharma carded two under 69 in the second round and lying at T41 to make the cut at three over 145 total, which is set for four over 146. S.S.P Chawrasia miss the cut at seven over 149 total after scoring three over 74 in the second round.
Kinhult reached the turn at Le Golf National in just 30 shots to surge up the star-studded leaderboard, then mixed two birdies and two bogeys on the back nine to set the pace on six under par.
Remarkably, the 21 year old heads into the weekend two shots clear of Englishman Wood despite opening his debut in the HNA Open de France with four consecutive bogeys on Thursday. Since then, he has posted 11 birdies, as well as an eagle three on the third hole of his second round, as he chases a first European Tour victory.
Wood is Kinhult’s nearest challenger after he birdied the last hole for a round of 68 to move to four under par, swapping places with Welshman Bradley Dredge, who dropped consecutive shots on the 17th and 18th holes in a round of 72 to slip back to three under par.
American Thomas and Spaniard Rahm, ranked second and fifth in the world respectively, both had double bogeys on their second round scorecards, but both remain well placed to mount a weekend challenge at the venue where they will be hoping to make their Ryder Cup debuts in September.
Rahm sits in a share of third position with Dredge after a round of 69, which included an eagle on the third hole and a six on the par four 15th, while Thomas reached four under par after his third birdie of the day on the 15th, but gave two shots back on the 17th to finish the day on two under and in a share of fifth position after signing for a 70.
France’s Gregory Havret posted the same round score and total and he will lead the home challenge over the final two rounds as one of only 15 players currently under par for the tournament.