India’s Jeev Milkha Singh eagled the final hole of his second round to take a commanding lead into the final day of the rain-shortened Bank Austria Open in Vienna.
Former Volvo Masters winner Singh holed from 35 feet on the par-five ninth at Fontana Golf Club to complete a flawless 63 for a 15-under-par total of 127.
That would have equalled the course record but for the preferred lies in operation on the saturated course, with the £1.1million event reduced to 54 holes following Thursday’s wash-out.
It left the 36-year-old from Chandigarh four shots ahead of England’s Simon Wakefield, with Australian Peter Fowler and New Zealand’s Mark Brown, who matched Singh’s 63, a shot further back.
Singh, the son of a former Olympic sprinter nicknamed “the Flying Sikh”, said: “I’m very pleased with the way I played, especially to have no bogeys today and ending with a 35ft putt for eagle on the last.
“Being 15 under in two rounds does not come too often, I can’t remember the last time I did that so I’m very happy the way I managed myself on the golf course. When you get to a certain score you get ahead of yourself but I didn’t do that.
“I’m thinking about the win but my main goal tomorrow is to stay in the present and see what comes my way.”
Wakefield had earlier moved into contention for his first European Tour title despite the unwelcome intervention of an air raid siren.
The 34-year-old from Newcastle-under-Lyme was lining up a birdie putt on the 18th green during his second round when the siren sounded, and after stepping away from the shot to compose himself, narrowly missed from 12 feet.
After settling for a 65, Wakefield said: “I didn’t know what the siren was and I had to turn round to see if it was the one to call play off with the thunderstorm that had been forecast.
“Thankfully my playing partner Clemens Prader is a local and he said they do it at noon on Saturdays in Austria so I just got on with it.
“My third shot had actually hit the pin and I was surprised it bounced back that far but I played the last four holes in three under par and I’m obviously delighted.
“I feel a win is overdue and I’m looking forward to going out there tomorrow and giving it 100% again, although it’s going to be tough the way Jeev is playing.”
Twelve months ago Wakefield went into the last round of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles tied for the lead and shot a closing three-under-par 70, but missed a birdie chance on the 72nd hole before losing out to Marc Warren in a play-off.
“I thought that was my week,” admitted Wakefield. “I shot three under in the final round and didn’t do anything wrong. I hit the best putt all week on the last and it missed.
“Every time I see the replay I think it’s going to go in.”
Pre-tournament favourite Darren Clarke, playing alongside Singh, could only add a 69 to his opening 70 to finish three under par, just inside the cut mark.
But former US Open champion Michael Campbell, optimistic after an opening 69, suffered his seventh missed cut in nine events after collapsing to a 78 and Ryder Cup star David Howell also bowed out after a 73.