(Reuters) - Peter Hedblom took a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the co-sanctioned Perth International on Friday to keep alive his hopes of the “fairytale” victory he needs to retain his European Tour card for next season.
The 43-year-old Swede is languishing in 179th spot in the Race to Dubai and needs to win the tournament to climb into the top 110 and avoid going back to qualifying school.
“Definitely, I love fairytales,” Hedblom told reporters after carding a second-round three-under-par 69 which moved him to seven-under, a two-shot cushion over England’s Ross Fisher.
”My best friend on Tour, Michael Jonzon, in 2009 he was like me, way back and needed to win.
“I think he needed top three in Castellon in 2009, which was his last tournament, and he won it, beat Martin Kaymer. That was a fairytale story.”
Hedblom, who started the round in a four-way tie for the lead, mixed six birdies to offset three bogeys at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
“It’s been two great days. But my golf is strange right now, because I hit really good shots, and some really poor shots, but my putting has been good,” Hedblom added. “So it’s great right now to be leading.”
Hedblom, whose third and last Tour win came in the 2009 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, has had a disappointing year and missed seven of his first eight cuts in 2013.
”It’s especially hard when you know you have a game and you know you can compete with the best players,“ he said. ”Then you do it for five holes, you do it for nine holes, you do it for 18 holes but not 72 holes.
“It’s been hard. If I can do it this week, it’s very hard to... but it would be unreal.”
England’s Paul Casey, a 12-times winner on the European Tour, missed the cut by a stroke.
American Ryder Cup player Dustin Johnson was six shots off the pace after a two-over 74, while defending champion and his compatriot Bo van Pelt was four shots behind the leader.
Writing by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ed Osmond