“I am in a good position right now, obviously the course will be stretched out a little more and get more difficult,” said Hend. “The greens were a little bit slow today and we struggled on the back nine. But I hit some good putts as well.
“I am feeling pretty relaxed, especially coming off a win last week but I am feeling very tired, I haven’t been sleeping well so I just want to stay focused the next two days.”
After his opening round of 69 had been impacted by a double and triple bogey in successive holes, Hend’s round of 68 today was bogey free as he closed in on the impressive effort of Suri who finished off his round with a homeward nine of 30 to set the lead early on day two.
Hend has not made the cut in this event in each of his last two starts but he is in such good form and mindset at present he has put that aside and as the event heads into the weekend he has opened up rare opportunity of consecutive European / Asian Tour victories.
The leader, Suri, won the European Tour’s Made in Denmark event in 2017 and finished runner-up at the lucrative French Open last year so he is an accomplished player more than capable of taking out this title although his effort this year is a significant improvement on his missed cut in this event last year.
Only South African, George Coetzee, and Sweden’s, Robert Karlsson, at 8 under and two from the lead separate Hend from Suri.
Marcus Fraser and Sam Brazel are the next best of the Australians in a share of 19th place, Brazel 5 under for his round through 11 holes before two late bogeys.
Daniel Nisbet, Jake Higginbottom and New Zealander Ben Campbell are tied for 31st while Terry Pilkadaris was the only other Australasian to make the weekend.
Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.