Muscat – Seasoned campaigner Stephen Gallacher and teenage upstart Rasmus Hojgaard shared the lead on nine-under par at the halfway stage of the Oman Open on Friday.
The pair finished the day one shot ahead of Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Finn Kalle Samooja.
Danish 18-year-old Hojgaard, the third youngest winner in European Tour history at this season’s Mauritius Open, scored a second-round 68 with an eagle, five birdies and three bogeys.
Scotland’s Gallacher, 45, boasting four European Tour wins, hit a bogey-free 67.
Dutchman Joost Luiten, the 2018 champion, English pair Richard McEvoy and Robert Rock, Italy’s Guido Migliozzi and South African Brandon Stone were three shots off the lead.
Gallacher, with only one top-10 finish on the 2019 Race to Dubai, said his game was moving in the right direction.
“This is a great golf course and one of the best we play all year but it’s very demanding and you’ve got to play good golf. If you don’t you’ll get found out and fortunately I’m playing pretty well at the moment,” he said
Hojgaard, holding the halfway lead for the first time in 10 European events, said it was difficult to manage the conditions.
“You can’t avoid bogeys out here so I knew at some point I would drop a shot because in this wind,” he said. “But I managed to bounce back with a few birdies.”
Italian golfers Edoardo Molinari and Lorenzo Gagli, cleared at the last minute to take part after a coronavirus scare, were further back with the latter sharing 10th spot at five-under and Molinari back in 29th on two-under.