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Caldwell set to qualify for next stage of Cyprus Showdown after sensational second round in Paphos


Jonathan Caldwell in action at the Cyprus Showdown in Paphos (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Jonathan Caldwell in action at the Cyprus Showdown in Paphos (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Jonathan Caldwell in action at the Cyprus Showdown in Paphos (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Clandeboye's Jonathan Caldwell looks set to make the weekend at the Cyprus Showdown after an exceptional second round at Aphrodite Hills in Paphos.

The 36-year-old carded a sensational seven-under-par 64 on day two to reach six-under-par for the week which, in a tie for 21st, looks to be enough to be in for the final two rounds.

There are still several groups left to finish their rounds, with the second round delayed due to electrical activity in Paphos, but with the top-32 and ties reaching Saturday as part of the new format being trialled at the tournament, only a hugely unlikely set of events would deny Caldwell his place in the third round.

Despite being six shots behind leader Jamie Donaldson, who is 12-under with three holes of his second round still to play, that won't matter for the Northern Irishman as all the scores will reset going into the weekend.

As part of the new format being tested out, all players start at even-par again in the third round and only the top-16 qualify for Sunday's final round, for which all the scores will be reset again.

But Friday's 64 will stand Caldwell in excellent stead given his improving scores at Aphrodite Hills, with his seven-under-par round a vast improvement on Thursday's 72.

The Clandeboye man, who has two top-seven finishes in his last three starts on Tour, didn't drop any shots on his way round, picking up four shots in his opening six holes, before adding a further birdie at the 11th.

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But it is his excellent finish that will have him in for the weekend, Caldwell birdieing the 17th and 18th holes to get him inside the cut mark, which currently stands at six-under-par.

That's two too many for playing partner Cormac Sharvin, however, as he could only card a second consecutive two-under 69 to finish at four-under-par for the two rounds.

The Ardglass man dropped two shots at the 3rd and 4th holes, and while he recovered well with birdies at the 6th, 10th, 14th and also at the 18th, it would need a similarly unlikely set of results for him to make it to Saturday.

Of those who have qualified for Saturday's third round, Belgium's Thomas Detry, Finland's Sami Valimaki and Scotland's Robert MacIntyre are the best placed in the world rankings.

Last week's winner Callum Shinkwin also cannot be discounted having already triumphed at Aphrodite Hills, while former Ryder Cup star Donaldson has found a good run of form too.

On the Challenge Tour, Michael Hoey (Galgorm Castle) slipped down the leaderboard at the Andalucia Challenge de Espana after a tough second round, carding an eight-over-par 80.

The 41-year-old recorded five bogeys and finished with a triple-bogey at the par-three 18th to drop to three-over-par for the tournament, which is still inside the cut mark but now 11 off leader Martin Simonsen (Denmark).

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