Pulkkanen shoots 64 to take one-shot lead at Joburg Open

Tour rookie from Finland won the 2017 Challenge Tour

 Tapio Pulkkanen  of Finland talks to his caddie during the second round  of the Joburg Open  at Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg. Photograph: Catherine Kotze/EPA

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland talks to his caddie during the second round of the Joburg Open at Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg. Photograph: Catherine Kotze/EPA

 

Tapio Pulkkanen carded a bogey-free 64 to take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Joburg Open.

The Finn is playing his first full season on the European Tour after winning the 2017 Challenge Tour but looked very much at home in Johannesburg as he got to 14 under and established a narrow advantage over India’s Shubhankar Sharma.

As well as playing for the trophy this week, there are three places on offer at the 2018 British Open, with the top three players not already exempt earning a place at Carnoustie.

Pulkkanen opened with a 65 on the Bushwillow Course and started his round on the Firethorn Course with six birdies before adding two more on the 11th and 12th.

“I’m really happy with my game,” Pulkkanen told europeantour.com. “I’ve been driving the ball really well, especially today, it’s a fantastic feeling.

“It was a good start to my round with six birdies in a row. The putter has been really hot, I practised my aiming a little before the tournament and it’s been much better this week.

“Leading a European Tour event so early on in my season sounds more magnificent than it really is. It’s a similar feeling to the Challenge Tour actually, so I’m comfortable.”

Sharma fired an excellent 61 on the Bushwillow Course to get to 13 under, a shot ahead of Finland’s Mikko Korhonen and South African Erik van Rooyen.

Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan missed his second straight cut after earning his Tour card despite shooting a two-under 69 in his second round. That left him on two under and in a share of 100th position.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.