Marcus Kinhult, 21, has big opportunity after jumping out to lead at French Open

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Marcus Kinhult, 21, has big opportunity after jumping out to lead at French Open

Euro Tour

Marcus Kinhult, 21, has big opportunity after jumping out to lead at French Open

PARIS, France – The first time Marcus Kinhult led a European Tour event after 36 holes he faltered over the last 36. He’s hoping to do a lot better this time around.

The 21-year-old Swede raced into the lead in the $7 million HNA French Open after posting a 6-under 65 in the second round. Kinhult has history on tough, windy golf courses like Le Golf National, this year’s Ryder Cup venue. He won the 2015 Lytham Trophy by eight shots, compiling an Even-par 280 around the Open Championship layout.

After Lytham, he shot 68-67 in the Nordea Masters to become the third amateur to hold a 36-hole European Tour lead. Scores of 77 and 75 saw him finish T-33.

“I learned a lot of things – just the whole experience of being in that position and the sort of feelings you have,” Kinhult said. “I know I have to stick to the things I can control and then see what happens.”

The former Junior Ryder Cup player got his European Tour card at the 2015 European Tour Qualifying School, but he was so low down the pecking order he only made 12 full appearances on the 2016 European Tour and had to return to Q School. He failed to qualify and spent last year on the European Challenge Tour. He finished fifth on the money list to earn a card for this year’s European Tour.

He’s currently 62nd on the European money list with over with just under $350,000. A third-place finish in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and T-12 in the BMW PGA Championship makes up the most of that total and will help him retain playing rights for next season.

Kinhult had six birdies, an eagle and just two bogeys in 65 to reach the top of the French leaderboard. It complemented an opening 71 recorded in the same sort of blustery conditions he experienced while winning the Lytham Trophy.

“Every tournament is a new experience and the bad ones are necessary as well. I’m learning all the time I don’t put too much pressure on myself. It’s a learning year for me. It’s going to be a nice weekend.”

It’ll be really nice if he gets his first European Tour win.

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