Hurley and Selfridge go deep at Czech Challenge
 Gary Hurley

Gary Hurley

Gary Hurley followed a 68 with a 69 but only made the cut by two shots in the low scoring D+D REAL Czech Challenge at Golf and Spa Kunetická Hora.

The axe fell at an almost obscene five under par which meant that Moyola Park’s Chris Selfridge made it with nothing to spare despite firing seven birdies in a six under par 66.

Headfort’s Brian Casey (70-73) missed out by four shots with Cormac Sharvin five off the pace after rounds of 71 and 73 and Jeff Hopkins (75-73) taking nine too many. 

At the top of the leaderboard, Frenchman Adrien Saddier carded an eight under par 64 to move to a 15 under total, one clear of Englishman Jordan L Smith.

The former World Amateur Number Ten, who earned a European Tour card through Qualifying School while still an amateur in 2013 - before turning professional straight away - has never been in a leading position at the weekend in the paid ranks, so he is relishing the prospect.

“This is my first time leading,” said Saddier. “We will see tomorrow and I hope I sleep well tonight. I have wanted to be in this position for a long time so I just need focus shot by shot and not focus on the end result, like I have done in the last few weekends.

“The round was a bit similar to the first day, I began very calmly - one under through six. Then I made three birdies in a row and that helped to grow my confidence. Then I played really well after the turn and the putter was really hot again so it was a very nice round.

“I had no fives on the card today so that’s always good. I’m three under on the par threes too. I hit a lot of good shots with my long irons and had some great putts so that helps.”

Having performed admirably in his rookie season on the European Tour two years ago, finishing 127th in the Race to Dubai but missing out on retaining his card, Saddier has been working hard on changing certain elements of his game and now feels he seeing the fruits of that labour.

“My long game and putting are both great at the moment so I’m just enjoying it,” he said. “I had a disastrous season last year because I made a lot of changes with my new coach, but this year I worked really hard over the winter and I have started playing very well.

 Adrien Saddier. Picture: Getty Images

Adrien Saddier. Picture: Getty Images

“I played Challenge Tour last year and just a few European Tour events, but when you change things in your swing it’s just a question of time. It’s slow progress so you just have to stay patient and work harder every day.

“I dreamt for a long time to be on the European Tour and it’s probably true that it came too soon for me - I was just an amateur at Q-School when I qualified. I played well and made a lot of cuts but I was just missing some experience.

“With the changes I have made I hit the ball better - I’m more confident with my long irons and I changed my game from a draw to a fade, which I think suits the European Tour better.”

Smith, meanwhile, remained within touching distance of the lead he held after the first round as he added a six under par second round 66 to his opening 64 to move to 14 under.

Andrea Pavan, the 2013 Challenge Tour Number One from Italy, was in a share of third place on 12 under after a five under 67, alongside Sweden’s Christofer Blomstrand, who carded the round of the day in Drítec – a nine under par 63 comprising eight birdies, an eagle and a bogey.

Scores:

129 A Saddier (Fra) 65 64, 

130 J Smith (Eng) 64 66, 

132 A Pavan (Ita) 65 67, C Blomstrand (Swe) 69 63, 

133 P Whiteford (Sco) 66 67, R Saxton (Ned) 65 68, 

134 M Wiegele  (Aut) 68 66, O Farr (Wal) 69 65, B Eccles (Aus) 65 69, R Santos  (Por) 67 67, D Perrier (Fra) 69 65, F Fritsch  (Ger) 67 67, B Stow (Eng) 67 67, D Gaunt (Aus) 70 64, S Forsstrom (Swe) 67 67, 

135 J Senior (Eng) 66 69, D Bransdon (Aus) 67 68, M Trappel  (Aut) 67 68, C Ford (Eng) 66 69, J Dantorp (Swe) 66 69, J Van Der Vaart (Ned) 70 65, J Garcia Pinto (Esp) 66 69, 

136 S Fallon (Eng) 68 68, M Tullo (Chi) 67 69, J Lima  (Por) 69 67, P Angles  (Esp) 70 66, M Armitage (Eng) 69 67, D Stewart (Sco) 68 68, T Remkes (Ned) 69 67, S Soderberg (Swe) 69 67, F Laporta (Ita) 70 66, 

137 S Henry  (Sco) 68 69, T Sinnott (Aus) 68 69, G Murray  (Sco) 67 70, A Velasco (Esp) 69 68, A Perrino  (Ita) 70 67, Gary Hurley (Irl) 68 69, P Widegren  (Swe) 70 67, R Kind (Ned) 67 70, D Wright (Eng) 68 69, C Sordet  (Fra) 69 68, K Hesbois  (Bel) 70 67, 

138 L Canter (Eng) 68 70, D Lloyd (RSA) 69 69, N Quintarelli (Ita) 70 68, S Hutsby (Eng) 67 71, E Porter (Aus) 71 67, J Doherty  (Sco) 69 69, M Nixon (Eng) 66 72, J Barnes (Eng) 69 69, M Lampert (Ger) 72 66, V Novak (am) (Cze) 69 69, 

139 J Lando Casanova  (Fra) 70 69, F Bergamaschi (Ita) 71 68, Chris Selfridge (Nir) 73 66, E Cuartero Blanco  (Esp) 69 70, S Fernandez  (Esp) 71 68, R Coles (Eng) 72 67, S Connor (Eng) 68 71, T Murray (Eng) 66 73, P Oriol (Esp) 71 68, J Makitalo  (Fin) 68 71, R Roussel  (Fra) 71 68, A Fadini (Ita) 69 70, P Mejow (Ger) 68 71, M Schneider (Ger) 75 64, 

CUT

140 T Bakker (Fin) 73 67, J Cafourek (Cze) 71 69, E Dubois (Fra) 71 69, J Wrisdale (Eng) 72 68, S Kim (USA) 68 72, D Law (Sco) 71 69, E Blom (Swe) 71 69, G Porteous (Eng) 70 70, E Kofstad (Nor) 69 71, P Vejgaard  (Den) 69 71, M Lafeber (Ned) 72 68, M Dobias  (Sui) 69 71, J Lara (Esp) 72 68, S Arnold  (Aus) 72 68, 

141 F Calmels  (Fra) 72 69, A Björk (Swe) 71 70, T Tree (Eng) 73 68, S Tiley (Eng) 71 70, B Rusch (Sui) 73 68, C Del Moral (Esp) 72 69, A Chesters  (Eng) 69 72, R Enoch  (Wal) 69 72, M Søgaard  (Den) 74 67, J Sjöholm (Swe) 71 70, 

142 J Allan  (Eng) 74 68, J White (Eng) 70 72, C Arendell (USA) 71 71, V Riu  (Fra) 73 69, J Edfors (Swe) 73 69, A Korinek (Cze) 71 71, G Watremez (Bel) 74 68, 

143 B Ritthammer (Ger) 71 72, P Maddy (Eng) 75 68, P Howard  (Eng) 72 71, Brian Casey  (Irl) 70 73, D Ulrich (Sui) 71 72, D Papadatos (Aus) 71 72, A Hartø  (Den) 71 72, S Jeppesen  (Swe) 72 71, N Geyger (Chi) 70 73, W Harrold (Eng) 73 70, J Heath  (Eng) 71 72, E Johansen  (Nor) 71 72, N Schellong (am) (Cze) 72 71, 

144 A Karlsson  (Swe) 72 72, D Huizing (Ned) 72 72, S Brown (Eng) 73 71, H Joannes  (Bel) 74 70, D Foos (Ger) 70 74, O Stark (Swe) 74 70, G Piris Mateu (Esp) 74 70, A Maestroni  (Ita) 72 72, W Besseling  (Ned) 69 75, Cormac Sharvin (Nir) 71 73

145 S Piaget  (Mon) 70 75, L Nemecz (Aut) 73 72, J Loughrey (Eng) 72 73, L Gagli  (Ita) 71 74, A Rota (Ita) 67 78, P Shields (Sco) 72 73, D Van Driel  (Ned) 74 71, P Gal  (Cze) 77 68, 

146 H Bacher (Aut) 74 72, L Motta (Ita) 75 71, M Delpodio  (Ita) 70 76, O Henningsson  (Swe) 74 72, L Tintera  (Cze) 74 72, C Costilla (Arg) 75 71, M Hocaoglu (Tur) 73 73, M Zapletal (am) (Cze) 72 74, 

147 M Crespi  (Ita) 76 71, M Keskari (Ger) 72 75, 

148 A Hortal  (Esp) 78 70, P Relecom  (Bel) 74 74, F Praegant (Aut) 76 72, Jeff Hopkins (Irl) 75 73, P Valasek  (Svk) 73 75, M Palmer (RSA) 75 73, C Berardo (Fra) 68 80, M Pospisil (am) (Cze) 76 72, B Moore (am) (Eng) 74 74, O Lisy (am) (Cze) 76 72, 

151 D Suchan  (Cze) 73 78, C Doak (Sco) 75 76, 

153 J Friesz  (Svk) 77 76, 

155 P Nic (Cze) 77 78, P Dedek  (Cze) 78 77, 

168 R Molnar  (Aut) 83 85, 

RT/WD P Martin Benavides (Esp) 78 RT, S Wolters (Ger) 70 WD.