Hero Open: Lucas Bjerregaard scores impressive 62 after rain disruption at St Andrews

On a fiddly, frustrating day at the Hero Open that was disrupted by Mother Nature’s crotchety meddling, Lucas Bjerregaard’s late night rampage should’ve been accompanied by its own yellow warning from the Met Office.

While Scotland’s Calum Hill kept himself right in the thick of affairs at the Fairmont St Andrews during a sodden second round that was delayed by some three-and-a-half hours, Bjerregaard’s sparkling 10-under 62 illuminated proceedings as the Dane propelled himself into the halfway lead.

His traumatising of the Torrance Course in the fading light, which didn’t count as a new record low as preferred lies were in operation, left the 29-year-old two shots clear of Hill on 15-under as he seeks a second European Tour win in this neck of the golfing woods.

Bjerregaard won the Dunhill Links at the Old Course back in 2018 and was up in the top-50 of the world rankings. Here in 2021, he’s languishing down in 960th spot on the global pecking order but a return to the home of golf seems to have galvanised him.

Four-under after nine holes of a second round that started on the 10th, Bjerregaard mounted a fearsome offensive on his back nine and birdied six holes in a row from the third during the kind of rousing sprint for the finish we’ve got used to seeing in Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.

“My putter might be the most valuable thing in Scotland right now,” he said of a performance on the greens which led to just about everything he hit disappearing down the hole. “I’ve never putted like that and I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone putt like that. I think I had about 20 putts today. That was pretty special, I’m a happy man right now.”

Hill, the overnight leader, was pretty chipper himself after a tidy 68 left him on a 13-under tally and in the hunt for a maiden European Tour title.

On a day of thumb-twiddling which required plenty of patience, Hill put the disruption behind him and negotiated his way to another bogey-free round.

“The wait was tricky,” admitted Hill, who didn’t tee-off until 3:30pm. “I came down at about midday and practiced for an hour and a half. I putted for 45 minutes and hit a bucket of balls. I felt that it kept the mundaneness at bay.”

Justin Walters of South Africa and Spain’s Santiago Tarrio posted rounds of eight-under and seven-under respectively to lurk on the 12-under mark while America’s Berry Henson continues to be the surprise package of the week as he finished on 10-under after a second successive 67.

The 42-year-old has been plying his trade on the Asian Tour down the seasons and has made a decent fist of it but this outing on the Fife coast has been quite the eye-opener.

“I have to be honest, it’s the best two rounds I’ve put together in these types of conditions in my career,” he said. “I don’t get to play much of this too often.

“As golfers we probably say we hit four good shots a round, I feel like I’m hitting quite a few in these conditions.”

Henson played just six events in 2020 due to the ravages of the coronavirus and has missed the cut in six of his eight events in 2021. To keep himself busy during a restricted playing schedule, Henson had been driving a taxi.

“I haven’t played much golf in the last two years and I was driving an Uber five weeks ago,” he said of this swap from fairways to fares. “I’m the type of guy who needs to keep my mind busy. I can’t just sit at home. There wasn’t much for me to play in during the time off with the Asian Tour and covid and I needed to feel like I had a purpose. I wonder if there are any of my Uber passengers out there who are saying ‘I know that guy’.”

Aberdeen’s David Law made an eagle and three birdies in four holes en route to a 67 for a 10-under total while Richie Ramsay and Grant Forrest are two shots back on eight-under.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992