Sam Bairstow takes a two-shot lead into the weekend at the Brabazon Trophy – and will hope his winning streak continues from the arcades of Filey to the golf course at Ganton.
The England international posted a second round 69 to go with his opening 66 for a halfway total of -7 and a two-shot advantage over Surrey’s Harvey Byers.
Essex’s Zach Chegwidden’s level par round of 71 puts him in third place on his own at -4.
Josh Bristow from Canterbury and Scotland’s Andrew Ni share fourth place on two under the card.
Bairstow looks relaxed in his home county of Yorkshire and away from the fairways has been staying at digs at the holiday resort of Filey.
Along with some of his golfing mates a few hours spent in the amusement arcades on Thursday night paid dividends – when he won a toy snake on the 2p machines!
The Brabazon Trophy is the prize he really craves though and on his current form he is the man to stop.
Reflecting on his halfway total, Bairstow admitted: “I’d have taken it at the start of the week. I let a couple slip near the end, but I’d have taken a two under round going into the day.”
When asked if he felt in control of his game, he added: “It feels good. I know the golf course well and I’m hitting the ball decent – get the ball in play and my irons shots are good.
“Hopefully I keep going on from there.”
Bairstow started his round well with a birdie at the first and one more birdie and a bogey allowed him to reach the turn in one under for the day.
Birdies at 10,11 and 13 took him to nine under par for the championship before dropped shots at the 16th and 17th meant he had to settle for a round of 69.
However, with 10 birdies and only three bogeys in 36 holes, his level of consistency makes him a formidable player to overhaul in front of a home crowd willing him to do well.
“It’s good to see people come out and support you – you don’t lose a ball. That’s a good thing!” added the Yorkshireman.
Byers will be in the final group with Bairstow tomorrow and his cause was helped by a spectacular hole out for eagle from the fairway at the second hole.
“I hit a good drive and left myself about 150 yards,” said Byers (pictured above).
“I hit a good shot, it looked good all the way and the next thing was that it went in.
“A great way to start the round.
“It was a tough pin – I just tried to land it front edge, let it feed down and managed to do so.
“I feel good – I managed to get the putter going which is nice. I just need to get it a little bit better off the tee and push on a little bit more.
“I’ll stick to my gameplan and hit the shots I’ve been trying to hit. I’m not going to focus on the outcome more the process and keep it going like that.
“It’s a tough course if you’re not on the fairway – whatever the hole, three-iron, driver, get it in the fairway and take it from there.
“The first two rounds have been good so let’s hope for two more good ones.”
Despite the benign conditions over the first two days, only nine players have arrived at the weekend under par.
Among those poised in the chasing pack and hoping for a charge over the next two days is English Amateur champion John Gough.
Gough is at -1 alongside Italy’s Riccardo Fantinelli, Kirkhill’s Lewis Irvine and his fellow Scot, Stuart Easton.
It was a disappointing day for first round leader Matt Roberts from Royal Porthcawl. His score of 77 was 12 shots higher than round one and leaves him on level for the championship.
The halfway cut came at +6 with 64 players making it to the final two rounds.
Photography credit: Leaderboard