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Elvira Edges Ahead in Antwerp: A Weekend to Remember at the Soudal Open

Nacho Elvira

Nacho Elvira, the affable Spaniard with a swing smoother than a pint of Guinness, has taken a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Soudal Open.

The venue? None other than the illustrious Rinkven International Golf Club in Antwerp.

It seems the Belgian course is as welcoming as its chocolates, allowing Elvira to go bogey-free over the first two days, carding back-to-back 64s to sit pretty at 14 under par.

From the start on the 10th, Elvira embarked on a masterclass of precision and poise. Gains on the 12th, 14th, 16th, and 18th set him on a thrilling pace, turning in a dazzling 31.

But he wasn’t done yet. A trifecta of birdies from the third to the fifth propelled him to the summit, where he looks poised to add another trophy to his collection, right next to his 2021 Cazoo Open title.

Nacho Elvira: “It was quite similar to yesterday, I played consistently and putted really well, extremely happy”.

“It’s a course I like, it suits my eye off the tee a bit better than other courses. And I’m lucky enough to be putting well, so hopefully I can take advantage of that”.

“Thank God it’s not raining and windy, it’s only raining. It’s not pleasant to be playing under the rain and it looks like it’s getting darker so I don’t know how the afternoon will play, but I’m happy to be done”.

Meanwhile, Ross Fisher, a man who’s no stranger to the Ryder Cup pressures, reminded everyone of his pedigree.

The Englishman leapt into contention with a stellar, bogey-free 63, his lowest DP World Tour round in over two years, reaching 13 under. Like a vintage wine, Fisher only seems to get better with age.

Romain Langasque, the Frenchman with a penchant for flair, kept his card clean too. A tidy 67 saw him sitting at 11 under, breathing down the necks of the leaders.

Joining the chase, Dane Niklas Nørgaard, England’s Andrew Wilson, Canadian Aaron Cockerill, and overnight leader Sam Jones of New Zealand are all hot on his heels, just a shot behind.

Local hero Thomas Pieters, ever the crowd-pleaser, delivered a five-under-par 66. His round included an eagle on the par-four 13th that had the home fans roaring with approval.

Pieters sits comfortably alongside Englishmen Matt Baldwin and Joe Dean at nine under, ensuring a thrilling weekend for the Belgian faithful.

As the rain set in on Friday afternoon, dampening the fairways but not the spirits, Elvira’s morning blitz proved to be the move of the day.

The forecast for the weekend? High drama, with a chance of glory.

The stage is set. Can Elvira hold his nerve and fend off the challengers to secure his second DP World Tour title?

Or will Fisher, with his Ryder Cup experience, or the flamboyant Langasque steal the show?

One thing’s for certain – golf fans are in for a treat as the Soudal Open heads into a nail-biting weekend.