Alexander Levy stormed six shots clear at the Porsche European Open after a superlative display of golf in Germany – where he was forced to play 26 holes in one day due to delays but carded a total of 13 birdies in that time to soar to a 17 under total, with one hole of his second round left to play.
Persistent fog in the morning meant further play stoppages in the historic event, but the Frenchman made hay while the overnight leader after day one, Bernd Wiesberger – on the other side of the draw – went the whole day without playing a single hole.
Levy teed off his second round just one hour after signing for a first round 62 midway through day two, and his momentum never faltered as he started with three birdies before picking up five more shots to reach the eighth, his 17th, in eight under before the klaxons were sounded due to darkness.
Three players of huge experience led the chasing pack on 11 under – home favourite and Ryder Cup player Martin Kaymer was seven under through 17, Robert Karlsson is threatening the magic number of 59 (albeit with preferred lies) as he is nine under through 15 on the par 71 course, while the Swede’s playing partner Ross Fisher is five under with three to play.
Those players that were still out on the course when play was halted overnight will resume their own second rounds at 8:00am local time. Wiesberger, meanwhile, will have a mountain to climb to reclaim the lead when the Austrian tees off his second round on Saturday.
Alexander Levy said, “It was really good. I said this morning that I just wanted to have fun and enjoy and play my golf. That is what I did today and now it’s really nice. I enjoy the time with my caddie on the golf course. I played well and it is always good to be in a position like that.
“I finished my round well this morning with two birdies in the last two holes and started with three birdies on the first three holes. I think I’m in a good way and I just need to enjoy it and to do my best to do my job.
“It’s very nice, I don’t just think about playing well, I think about having fun. I don’t like to think about [the tournament possibly being shortened]. I just want to win the tournament with the four rounds. When I play like today, you just enjoy it. That’s all you can do.”
“Of course 59 crossed my mind, but I wasn’t actually aware of it for a while – I knew I was making a lot of birdies and I didn’t know how many under par I was – but then I went eagle-birdie on three and four and I was thinking ‘I must be quite a few under now’, obviously,” said Karlsson.
“It’s always a tricky situation when you know you’re not going to finish the round. But at the end of the day, we’re going to play 54 or 72 holes and that’s the way it is. It was a bit of a mental error on five but I’ve knocked in plenty of numbers so I won’t complain.
“I’m just trying to put it in perspective, it’s 72 holes and that’s not even 36 of 72 that I have played now so it is what it is. It’s fantastic and hopefully a 59 will happen, whether it’s tomorrow or another day – hopefully I can do it. It was a great day today and I had a lot of fun in the group.”
Kaymer said, “It’s a very bad feeling to have such long days, coming from Italy were we were playing from early morning to late at night and now it’s the same again. It’s not the perfect preparation for Ryder Cup.
“I hope that the tournament will be decided over 54 holes. From my score, I’m happy. I have had 12 birdies in 26 holes today. My plan is just to keep playing like that tomorrow.”