As we enter the halfway stage of the Czech Open, clubhouse leader Peter Hanson has reason to worry after Peter Lawrie hits a birdie rush at Prosper Golf Resort, halfway through his second round.
Consecutive birdies at holes 17, 18, 1, 2 and 3 along with his birdie at 13 means the Irishman, whose only tournament win came at the 2008 Open de Espana, has overtaken Hanson at the top of the leader board and is sitting pretty at eight under with five holes to play.
Hanson’s exploits have propelled him into recognition for a Ryder Cup spot and a win in Celadna would see him leapfrog Paul Casey in the race for an automatic spot, which would mean helping Europe justify their current 8/15 favouritism.
Hanson received a late invitation to the event after an eighth place finish at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and is looking to capitalise on Casey’s decision not to take part in the Czech Open.
But whilst Hanson and Lawrie top the leader board at the halfway stage, there are a number of players who can’t be ruled out.
Thomas Levet is four shots off the lead and is each way value at 40/1, whilst Bradley Dredge and Fabrizio Zanotti are at -3 under and can be backed at 25/1 and 50/1 respectively.
With Hanson focusing on the prospect of an automatic Ryder Cup spot, the extra pressure may hinder a man who doesn’t often find himself in winning positions and allow some of the chasing pack to catch up over the weekend.
Nick Dougherty is one European who will not be contesting a Ryder Cup place, his miserable season continuing with a missed cut at the Czech Open.
Expect a charge from a player back in the field. Bradley Dredge looks like the best bet at 25/1. See the full Czech Open market.