Chesters keen to learn as he leads European Open in Hamburg

Former Walker Cup player Ashley Chesters leads the Porsche European Open after two rounds (Picture: Getty Images).
Former Walker Cup player Ashley Chesters leads the Porsche European Open after two rounds (Picture: Getty Images).
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England’s Ashley Chesters held the clubhouse lead after day two of the weather-affected Porsche European Open in Hamburg.

Chesters and fellow Englishman Jordan Smith were tied at the top of the leaderboard on eight under par when a second heavy downpour of the day forced play to be halted due to a waterlogged course.

When play resumed almost four hours later, Smith bogeyed his final hole of the day – the ninth – and Chesters picked up a shot at the eighth on his way to a second round of 67.

This gave the 27-year-old a nine-under-par halfway total and one-shot lead over Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman, with Smith a shot further back after his own 67.

“I definitely didn’t hit it as well off the tee, but the putter made up for a lot, so that’s always nice,” said Chesters, who turned professional after helping Great Britain & Ireland to a record Walker Cup victory at Royal Lytham in 2015, where he won three and a half points from his four matches.

The world No 446 gained his Tour card via the qualifying school in 2016 and has missed seven cuts in 14 events this season, with a best finish of joint eighth in the Hassan Trophy.

“(Leading) is a completely new experience so (the third round) is going to be totally new to me,” Chesters added. “The whole year has been a learning experience really so hopefully I’ll learn something again, whatever happens.”

Smith finished top of the Challenge Tour rankings in 2016 and is 42nd on the Race to Dubai.

Woodsome Hall’s Chris Hanson and Hull’s Richard Finch were the only Yorkshire players to complete their second round.

Hanson birdied two and three, but three bogeys in a row followed immediately and then a third birdie at 11 as he added a 72 to his opening 70.

Finch (73 72) had four birdies in his round, but also two bogeys and a double.

Malton’s Simon Dyson, who started with a 71, was one over through 11 holes when play was halted for the day. Howley’s Hall’s Marcus Armitage, on the back of a 73, was five over through 11 holes yesterday.

He had three bogeys in his first seven holes, responded well with birdies at eight and nine, but then had consecutive doubles at 10 and 11.