Evans leads in Azerbaijan

Ben Evans leads the Azerbaijan Golf Challenge Open approaching the midway point in the second round. Picture courtesy Agathe Seron
Ben Evans leads the Azerbaijan Golf Challenge Open approaching the midway point in the second round. Picture courtesy Agathe Seron
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Golf star Ben Evans has hit the front in the latest European Challenge Tour event.

The Staplecross-based professional leads the Azerbaijan Golf Challenge Open approaching the midway point in the second round after a splendid first 36 holes.

Evans has carded rounds of 66 and 67 for an 11-under-par total of 133 at The National Azerbaijan Golf Club to lie a shot clear of the field as things stand, although most of the players have yet to complete their second rounds.

The 27-year-old made a fast start to the 72-hole event yesterday (Thursday). Starting at the 10th, Evans made five birdies at the 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th and 18th, and a bogey on the 14th, to complete his first nine holes in a four-under-par 32.

Another birdie followed at the 3rd and although he dropped a shot at the par five 5th, Evans closed with two more birdies at the 8th and 9th for a second nine 34 and a share of fourth place overnight.

He began his second round this morning with a bogey and eight pars followed as he went out in 37, but an eagle at the long par five 10th really got him going. Birdies followed at the 11th and 12th before another eagle on the short par four 17th took him home in 30.

Evans will be among the later starters for round three tomorrow with round four following on Saturday. He now has a great opportunity to rise up the Challenge Tour rankings from his present position of 113th.

Evans, of Rye and Sedlescombe Golf Clubs, ended a run of six successive missed cuts by finishing tied 20th at Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge in France last weekend - equalling his best result of the season so far.