Peter Uihlein nabs share of lead in Round 2 of HNA French Open

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Peter Uihlein nabs share of lead in Round 2 of HNA French Open

Euro Tour

Peter Uihlein nabs share of lead in Round 2 of HNA French Open

Former U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein is just 36 holes away from his second European Tour win after moving to the top of the leaderboard in the $7 million HNA French Open at Le Golf National in Paris.

Uihlein shares the lead on eight under par with Spain’s Adrian Otaegui after a second successive 4-under-par 67. England’s Tommy Fleetwood continued his fine form of late with a 68. He’s tied for third on 7 under along with Sweden’s Alexander Bjork. First-round leader Paul Waring is two shots off the lead after a 72.

Uihlein only dropped one shot in the second round. A bogey at the 17th was offset by birdies at the third, ninth, 13th, 14th and 15th holes. He will play with Otaegui in the third round.

Former Oklahoma State player Uihlein has been a full European Tour member since he turned professional. He finished 14th on the money list in 2013, his rookie season. He began that season with a Challenge Tour card, but victory in the Madeira Islands Open gave him full European Tour status. Uihlein made the most of his chance.

He had two seconds in 2013 to go with his debut victory. He came close to shooting the tour’s first official 59 in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He had to settle for a 60 at Kingsbarns, getting him into a playoff with David Howell, which he lost at the second hole. He was also runner-up in the Wales Open.

Uihlein posted seven top 10 finishes in 2015-16 but slipped to 126th on last year’s money list. He played the early part of this season on a medical exemption, and performed well. He notched up three top 10 finishes, including fifth in the Dubai Desert Classic. 

He is currently 42nd on the European money list with just over $400,000 in earnings. As the former number one player in the amateur game, the French Open is the sort of class A event Uihlein should be contending for. Many will expect Uihlein to go on and win the second event of the European Tour’s lucrative Rolex Series.

Otaegui, who scored a 66, is looking for his first European Tour win. He came close to victory last year by finishing second in the Lyoness Open. The 24-year-old also placed third in the Made in Denmark event to finish 69th on the money list, his highest European Tour order of merit finish since turning professional in 2011.

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