Sickly Svensson shares lead in windy Bahrain

golf02 February 2024 19:00| © AFP
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Jesper Svensson @ Getty Images

Jesper Svensson hit a 65 on Friday to move into a tie for the halfway lead in the Bahrain Championship at nine-under-par with Dylan Frittelli and Joel Girrbach.

In strong, gusting winds, Svensson shot six-under par on his first eight holes and finished with a seven-under total of 65, the lowest round of the day by two shots, and also his best round on the DP Tour.

"It was tough out there," Svensson, a Swede, said.

"I've been sick most of the time this week so I'm just going to try and get some rest and hopefully get some energy back."

Frittelli birdied his final hole in fading light to card a 68 and said he was hoping for tough conditions all weekend.

"When I got out of bed this morning and looked out the window it looked like horrendous wind out there and I wasn't too psyched up for the round, but I knew that meant if I played well, I'd push up the leaderboard and get near the top," the South African said.

"I'd like more wind. I like something that adds an element of skill and experience," he continued.

"I like an element of trickery and random little things that pop up."

Girrbach started badly but fought back and made two of his six birdies on the last two holes, to finish on 70.

"It was a brutal start with two bogeys in the wind," he said. "It was a tough one early in the morning but I stayed patient and I'm happy with that finish."

At 30, the Swiss golfer is a full tour member for the first time.

"The DP World Tour has been my goal for the past eight years so I just enjoy it now I'm here," he said.

Spaniard Alejandro del Rey was one stroke behind with Welsh former Ryder Cup player Jamie Donaldson another stroke back alongside overnight leader Tom Vaillant, a second Frenchman Julien Guerrier, Australian Harrison Endycott and South African Ockie Strydom.