Stalter leads KLM Open after landmark ace for Ilonen
Joel Stalter holds the overnight lead after day two of the KLM Open, where Mikko Ilonen made the 1,000th hole-in-one in European Tour history.
After gusting winds and driving rain interrupted proceedings in Spijk on Thursday, much of the field were forced to finish their first rounds before embarking upon their second on Friday.
The likes of Richard Finch, who shared the clubhouse lead after day one, are only six holes into their second rounds, but Stalter was one man to complete 36 holes, adding a four-under 67 to his opening 65 to sit one stroke clear at 10 under.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat carded rounds of 68 and 65 to head into the weekend one stroke behind Stalter, while Sebastian Heisele sits outright third on eight under. Joakim Lagergren is three shots back, still with half of his second round to play.
Although the day ultimately belonged to Stalter, Ilonen secured himself a slice of history with an ace at the par-three 14th during his first round.
Remarkably, the Finn almost repeated the feat at the same hole in his second round, the ball resting to within a foot of the pin before he made birdie.
Mikko Ilonen has aced the 14th hole.— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 15, 2017
That is the 1,000th hole in one in European Tour history! pic.twitter.com/xqDOYoj41v
"I played really solid – it was tough at the beginning. I gave up two shots but then I really got it back strong," said Stalter, who bogeyed two of his first three holes in the second round before recovering to post six birdies.
"It's too bad because I maybe could have had a couple more birdies at the end but it was a really good round and I'm really proud of myself because it was a really long day.
"I've been in this situation before so I know what to expect for the weekend, but the goal is to be on top of the leaderboard on Sunday."