Bogey-free after 36 holes, Besseling keeps Rahm at bay in Spain

Madrid (AFP) –


Wil Besseling led world number one and two-time champion Jon Rahm by a single shot at the halfway stage of the Spanish Open on Friday after completing 36 holes bogey-free.

Dutchman Besseling followed an opening 64 with a 65 at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid to get to 13 under for the tournament.

Rahm carded a 67 as he looks to emulate legendary compatriot Seve Ballesteros as a three-time champion at his home event.

Spaniard Adri Arnaus, Englishman Ross McGowan and Shubhankar Sharma from India were another shot back off the lead at 11 under.

Besseling's best performance on the European Tour this season remains a tie for fourth at the Austrian Open. He has yet to win a tour title.

"The last couple of seasons have been really good," he told

"I did struggle before that so it is good to be out here performing well and making putts, and being on top of the leaderboard after 36 holes, hopefully it will stay that way come Sunday."

US Open champion Rahm predicted a close battle over the weekend which is already sell out among fans.

"You didn't see ten-under today because of the firmness of the course," said Rahm.

"As it gets firmer, it is going to be a more demanding golf course obviously, more challenging and a much more fun golf course to play."