Resurgent Fitzpatrick set to become the king of Crans
Englishman looks back in the groove
Ante-post 80-1 chance Scott Hend leads the European Masters at the halfway stage, the Australian reaching 13 under par through 36 holes at Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland.
Hend is one shot clear of Darren Fichardt, and there is a three-shot gap to those sharing third place. Pre-tournament 10-1 favourite Alex Noren is in a tie for 32nd, ten shots behind, while Tommy Fleetwood let down those who supported him at 12-1. The Englishman missed the cut by two shots.
Fleetwood's compatriot, Matthew Fitzpatrick, can be delighted with how the first two days have worked out. Fitzpatrick has been in poor form since finishing runner-up in the Nordea Masters at the start of June, but he is eight under par through two rounds at Crans.
Fitzpatrick has dropped only one shot this week and appears to have rediscovered his game in time to challenge at one of his favourite tracks. Crans is perfect terrain for the skills-set of Fitzpatrick and he finished runner-up there in 2015.
Punters who kept faith with the sweet-swinging youngster, who turned 23 at the start of this month, could get 28-1 on tournament-eve. Form is temporary, class is permanent, and three-time European Tour champion Fitzpatrick looks set to prove that by seriously contending in Crans.
Hend, an inconsistent, often erratic player, who has his wife caddying for him this week, is far from certain to maintain his gallop, particularly with some less welcoming weather set for Saturday afternoon, while limited South African Fichardt is an equally unappealing betting proposition at short prices.
Fitzpatrick, particularly with two firms still offering five each-way places, looks a great bet heading into the weekend. He seemed likely to conquer Crans at some stage in his career, and this edition has become a golden opportunity given the lack of quality opposition on the leaderboard.
3pts each-way 15-2 Betfair, Power