Penge and Vaillant share lead in Mallorca

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Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A
Posted on
November 3, 2023
by
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Marco Penge and Tom Vaillant will share a three-stroke lead heading into the weekend of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A after both posted four under par rounds of 68 at Club de Golf Alcanada.

Englishman Penge, who came into this week in 24th position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, made the turn at level par before bursting into life on the back nine with five birdies and a solitary bogey to reach seven under par for the week.

“I’m over the moon with the first two rounds. Conditions have been so tough, and I’m pleased with my performance round here. My game over the last few weeks hasn’t been in the best place but I believe playing in the wind has helped me out because the swing doesn’t have to be perfect technically it is more about being creative.

“I can’t hit driver much on the front nine because I run out of fairway so the plan was to hit irons into position and then on the back nine, I can be a bit more aggressive. I’m going to focus on hitting fairways, greens and hopefully I can hole a few more putts over the weekend.

“My aim at the start of the year was to finish in the top 20 on the Rankings and if that was to happen it would be amazing. I’m focussing on getting better with each season and whatever will be will be. I still believe I have a long journey ahead of me but I’m happy with how things are going.”

Frenchman Vaillant, playing in his first full season on the Challenge Tour, made two birdies and one bogey on the way out before three birdies in his final six holes, including one at the last, saw him tie the lead with Penge.

Penge is projected to climb 18 places into sixth on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, while Vaillant would climb 23 places into tenth. The top 21 on the Rankings at the conclusion of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final will earn DP World Tour playing privileges for 2024.

France’s Frederic Lacroix posted the low round of the day - a sensational seven under par 65 - to move into third position on four under par. He is projected to climb 11 places into 14th position on the Rankings and secure a return to the DP World Tour.

Italian Andrea Pavan posted a five under par round of 67 to move into fourth place on three under par and he is projected to finish the season on top of the Rankings. A win this week would see him become the first to man to win the Challenge Tour Rankings on two separate occasions.

German Max Rottluff, American Julian Suri and Irishman Conor Purcell share fifth place on one under par, while Italian Francesco Laporta, Switzerland's Joel Girrbach and England's Brandon Robinson Thompson are a shot further back in eighth.

The third round of the season finale will get under way at 8:00am local time, with Penge teeing it up in the final group alongside Vaillant and Lacroix at 9:24am.

Round two scores:

137 T VAILLANT (FRA) 69 68, M PENGE (ENG) 69 68,
140 F LACROIX (FRA) 75 65,
141 A PAVAN (ITA) 74 67,
143 J SURI (USA) 74 69, M ROTTLUFF (GER) 71 72, C PURCELL (IRL) 71 72,
144 F LAPORTA (ITA) 74 70, J GIRRBACH (SUI) 74 70, B ROBINSON THOMPSON (ENG) 74 70,
145 B STONE (RSA) 74 71,
146 S BAIRSTOW (ENG) 75 71, D FICHARDT (RSA) 74 72, A CHESTERS (ENG) 73 73,
147 S HUTSBY (ENG) 75 72, M MANASSERO (ITA) 76 71, J RUTHERFORD (ENG) 74 73, J SVENSSON (SWE) 73 74, C HOWIE (SCO) 78 69, F MORY (FRA) 73 74, B FOLLETT-SMITH (ZIM) 71 76,
148 J PRINSLOO (RSA) 75 73, T LEWIS (ENG) 75 73, N KRISTENSEN (DEN) 77 71, J SENEKAL (RSA) 72 76,
149 J ANDERSEN (DEN) 76 73, L VACARISAS (ESP) 74 75, S FRIEDRICHSEN (DEN) 76 73, E WALKER (SCO) 73 76,
150 I CANTERO (ESP) 75 75, A BLOMME (SWE) 74 76, M HAMMER (GER) 75 75, L RUUSKA (FIN) 76 74, M COUVRA (FRA) 76 74, M ELVIRA (ESP) 77 73, R GOUVEIA (POR) 78 72, O FARR (WAL) 80 70,
151 S BROWN (ENG) 77 74, C JARVIS (RSA) 80 71, W ENEFER (ENG) 81 70,
152 S MANLEY (WAL) 78 74, L SCALISE (ITA) 73 79,
153 U COUSSAUD (FRA) 77 76,
154 J GUMBERG (USA) 82 72,
156 L VAN MEIJEL (NED) 79 77,

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