Grant Forrest, who wasn’t even in the field a week ago, is on course to make the match-play phase in the ISPS Handa World Super 6 event after producing a storming back nine in the second round at Lake Karrinyup in Perth.
Playing in just his sixth European Tour event as a professional, the 24-year-old from Craigielaw came home in five-under 31 to card a 67, leaving him a shot off the lead, held by defending champion Brett Rumford and former world No 1 Lee Westwood.
Forrest was 31st reserve for the tournament at the close of entries and was still fourth on the standby list with a week to go before learning he’d got into the field last Sunday as he was en route to western Australia from Dubai.
After opening with a 68 on Thursday, he was out in 37, one-over, in the second round before following back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th with an eagle-2 at the 330-yard 14th then picking up another shot at the 16th.
That back-nine burst lifted him to seven-under-par, putting the former Walker Cup player in a good position to make the concluding six-hole match-play ties on Sunday by being in the top 24 after a third stroke-play round.
The field has already been reduced from 156 to 80 players, with Bradley Neil joining Forrest in advancing after the Blairgowrie 22-year-old picked up two birdies in his last three holes to make it through on level-par, which was the cut-off mark.
Maintaining the form he’d shown when firing a 62 in Malaysia last week, Westwood carded an eagle and four birdies to join overnight leader Rumford (72) in top spot, with Dane Thorbjorn
“It was a good day as it was not easy out there,” admitted Westwoood. “I know the wind can really pick up in Perth, but you don’t expect it to blow quite as strong as it did today and it was tricky out there. You really have to have your wits about you.”
Concurring, Rumford said: “That’s as tricky as the golf course gets, no doubt. It was just rough from word go, so it was a day just purely for concentration and just knocking shots down.”
Duncan Stewart, who qualified for the match-play stage after a play-off 12 months ago, fell after the first cut on this occasion, as did Connor Syme and Thai-based Simon Yates.
Stewart (74-72) finished on two-over, one ahead of Syme, who at least had the consolation of signing for a one-under 71 in his second round, while Yates (79-73) ended up on eight-over.