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Senior Tour: Tarling takes charge on the Algarve

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Canada’s Ken Tarling produced a blistering start to his second round at the European Senior Tour Qualifying School en route to opening up a two shot lead at the halfway mark in Portugal.

Starting from the tenth tee, the 56 year old birdied four of his opening five holes at Pestana Golf Resort’s Vale da Pinta course as he quickly caught overnight leader Magnus Persson Atlevi, after the Swede dropped two shots in four holes having started with back-to-back birdies.

Tarling dropped his first shot of the day just before the turn and made another bogey on the fourth hole - his 13th – but he picked up his fifth birdie of the day on the seventh hole to sign for a round of 68 and a seven under par total.

Meanwhile, Atlevi followed a bogey on the first hole of his back nine with eight consecutive pars for a one over par round of 72 and a five under par total, meaning a four shot swing in Tarling’s favour at the top of the leaderboard.

“It’s hard to back up a good score with another good score, so I’m delighted I’ve done that today,” said Tarling, who is making his seventh visit to the annual Qualifying School.

“The wind was blowing hard today, so I’m over the moon. It was a really good ball striking round for me. I hit 15 greens and I really hit it close. I couldn’t ask for anymore. I’m thrilled.

“We are only halfway there, but it’s a great start. I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself, but it has been a goal of mine for so long to play over here, so it would be nice to keep it going.”

Despite losing the lead, Atlevi remains on course for further Qualifying School success, 33 years after becoming the youngest player to earn a European Tour card via the Qualifying School as a 17 year old.

He was pleased with the battling qualities he showed, particularly on the back nine.

“I didn’t do as well today, naturally, but it wasn’t too far off,” said Atlevi. “It was windy today and that made it tricky. I hit 14 greens today, but I missed a few putts, which was the difference.

“I’m proud that I held it together though. I had a four foot putt to go three under after three holes and missed it, and then I had a few bogeys after that. So instead of going nine under, I dropped back to six. I’m not used to tournament golf after so long away, so I was happy to steady it after that and not lose ground. It could easily have got away from me. Yesterday was such a high, so today was always going to be difficult to get to the same level. We’re only halfway and there is plenty to do, but it is a good start.”

Englishman Graeme Bell is a further three shots back in third place on two under par, with Australian Tim Elliott (70) and France’s Jean Pierre Sallat (72) sharing fourth position on one under par. Six players are currently sharing sixth position – the last spot to earn a full card for the 2015 Senior Tour season – on level par, including 2009 Qualifying School winner John Harrison, of England.

Another Englishman, Steve Cipa, had a hole-in-one on his final hole for a level par round of 71 to jump into the conditional card positions, sharing 12th place with five other players on one over par.

Complete second round scores (par 71)

135 K Tarling (Can) 67 68,

137 M Atlevi (Swe) 65 72,

140 G Bell (Eng) 67 73,

141 J Sallat (Fra) 69 72, T Elliott (Aus) 71 70,

142 A Macdonald (Eng) 73 69, M Guzman (Arg) 73 69, J Harrison (Eng) 70 72, L Perrins (RSA) 73 69, R Sabarros (Fra) 69 73, G Joyner (Aus) 72 70,

143 S Cipa (Eng) 72 71, F Lamare (Fra) 71 72, D Wettlaufer (Can) 74 69, J Nougues (Arg) 71 72, K Hinton (Eng) 73 70, P Scott (Eng) 73 70,

144 M Bianco (Ita) 73 71, S McNally (Eng) 75 69, M Wharton (Eng) 70 74, D Westermark (Swe) 74 70, S East (am) (Eng) 72 72,

145 K Spurgeon (Eng) 74 71, R Fish (Eng) 70 75, P Dahlberg (Swe) 76 69, C Grenier (Aut) 72 73, J Murphy (Eng) 73 72, G Marks (Eng) 75 70, P Martinez (Par) 74 71, J Sanchez (Mex) 73 72,

147 P Parker (USA) 74 73, A Firman (Eng) 78 69, B White (Eng) 69 78, R Ellis (Eng) 74 73,

148 B Conser (USA) 72 76, D Narveson (USA) 71 77, I Lyner (Eng) 73 75, Y Nilsson (Swe) 72 76, A Saddington (Sco) 76 72, T Cooper (am) (Eng) 77 71,

149 K Hutton (Sco) 78 71, K Smith (Can) 75 74, M Reynard  (Eng) 78 71, J Berendt (Arg) 74 75, P Romero (Esp) 77 72,

150 P Dugeny (Fra) 77 73, J Laforce (Can) 72 78, R Roper (Eng) 79 71, M Hallberg (Swe) 75 75, B James (USA) 77 73,

151 P Gresswell (Eng) 76 75, J Davila (Esp) 78 73, S Bennett (Eng) 76 75,

152 A George (Eng) 76 76, G Norquist (USA) 75 77, R Franco (Par) 76 76, D James (Sco) 79 73, D Pearce (Eng) 77 75,

153 R Tlhabanyane (RSA) 79 74, T Söderberg (Swe) 75 78, D Ray (Eng) 75 78,

154 R Adams (Eng) 76 78, F Grosset-Grange (Fra) 74 80,

155 J Drummond (Eng) 74 81, G Milne (Eng) 76 79, M Belsham (Eng) 77 78, J Evans (Eng) 78 77, N Gold (am) (Sco) 77 78,

156 J Lubieniecki (Pol) 79 77, M McLean (Eng) 81 75, M Deboub (Alg) 77 79, N Robson (am) (Sco) 79 77,

157 N Terry (Eng) 80 77,

159 A Mori (Ita) 77 82,

160 D Berry (Eng) 81 79,

162 A Jarrett (Eng) 82 80, T Tirkkonen (am) (Fin) 80 82,

166 R Briars  (Eng) 82 84,