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Dimi Papadatos retains lead in Challenge Tour event

Papapdatos in action today (Photo: Golfsupport.nl)
Australian Dimitrios Papadatos leads by four shots at the halfway stage of the European Challenge Tour’s Bridgestone Challenge in Bedfordshire in England after carding a consecutive eight under par round of 63.

Papadatos came from two shots behind at the start of the day to race past the early pacesetters, backing up his opening round of 63 with another eight under par round – his lowest rounds on the European Challenge Tour – to take top spot by four strokes.

The Sydney golfer, who led for the majority of the first day, continued his impressive form with two birdies in his first three holes. A bogey on the par three 15th, his sixth hole, was soon forgotten as he finished his front nine with back-to-back gains.

With cooler and windier conditions in the afternoon, the 27 year old’s putter remained red-hot as he made five birdies on his back nine, including four in his final five holes to accelerate past Day Two’s early leaders Tom Lewis and Stanislav Matus.

With a 2018 Challenge Tour victory already under his belt, Papadatos was thrilled to be in pole position following his eye-catching rounds of 63 at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa.

This week offers a great opportunity for the former New Zealand Open winner to lock up his European Tour card. Currently 16th on the European Challenge Tour’s money list he needs to be inside the top 15 by the end of the season which comes after another six events beyond this week and victory this week would assure him of that.

“I’m pretty happy with my back-to-back 63s," he said stating the almost obvious. "I wasn’t expecting to do that,” he said. “I feel my game is in a good place and there is no reason why I can’t shoot a couple of good numbers over the weekend.

“The putter is definitely performing this week. I’ve made a fair share of birdies over the first couple of days and I’m hitting it pretty nicely as well, which has given me plenty of opportunities to score.

“This afternoon was quite tricky as it was pretty windy. I managed to hit some good shots and my wedge play was pretty good as well. I hit a couple of wedges really close on the greens which helped me make some easy birdies on my back nine and that gave me momentum as I made a few more birdies coming in.

“The greens are really good and that’s always nice, especially when my putting starts to get going. When I’m putting on good greens, like this week, and having plenty of looks at the hole, I’m able to shoot some good numbers. I think the condition of the course is quite firm and fast which is similar to Australia, so that suits me as well.”

Nick Cullen is the next best of the Australians in a share of 4th place at 10 under and six behind his fellow countryman.

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