Friday, October 07, 2016

All six Scots, headed by Duncan Stewart,  

make the Challenge Tour cut in Italy

Victor Riu and Aaron Rai moved into a share of the halfway lead of this weekend's European Challenge Tour event in Italy, the Terre dei Consoli Open, reaching eight under par after round two – a mark shared by José-Filipe Lima and overnight leader Rhys Enoch.
Rai and Riu thrived in cold and wet morning conditions before Enoch and Lima had to battle gusting winds, albeit in bright Italian sunshine, at Terre dei Consoli Golf Club.

Frenchman Riu, winner of the 2013 Swiss Challenge, had a slow start to his round but ignited on the back nine, two eagles helping him home in 32 for a three under par second round of 69.
“I’m feeling good,” said the 31 year old. “I played well yesterday and in the end I did today, because I started badly – I made two eagles on the back nine so that helped my score, and it was a solid round.
“I really like this course. The conditions are good and it’s very long, and it’s unusual on the Challenge Tour to play such a long course.
“I prefer a long course to a short course, it seems to be more selective and more like the European Tour – the cut is over par, so it shows it is a tough course, and I enjoy playing that more.
“The season so far has not been good at all for me. My goal at the start of the year was to finish in the top 15, as I did two years ago. 
" I’ve struggled with my short game but I’m getting much better – I had a good feeling in the last round in Kazakhstan so I’ve carried that on this week.
“I’ve got nothing to lose, it’s not too late to have some good results, and I’m feeling good in my game so I will just try to carry on this way.”
England’s Rai shot the round of the day, an outstanding 66 – later matched by Italian Filippo Bergamaschi – that has moved him in contention for a maiden Challenge Tour title.
The 21 year old has come close to breaking his duck several times on his debut season on the Road to Oman, finishing in the top four on three occasions, but despite sitting 14th in the Rankings he is refusing to get ahead of himself.
“I’m just trying to play the same way as I have all season,” he said. “I approached this tournament in the same way, prepared as well as possible, but also tried to save energy for the next few events.
“At the start of the season I tried not to set too many goals and just tried to prepare and play as well as possible, and fortunately so far it’s worked well.
“It’s been a really good year so far. With all the travel, all the events we’ve gone to, it’s all been really, really good, so it’s been an awesome experience to be part of the Challenge Tour this year.
“I’m not thinking too far ahead or setting too many goals, I just need to play my best and see how it goes.
“I’m not sure I’m due to win. There have been a couple of times this year where over the weekend my scoring hasn’t been so good, so we’ll have to see what happens this weekend.
“Playing four rounds instead of the three I’ve played before, it definitely adds something to it. I know it’s only an extra day, which sounds pretty easy, it can be tough, but if you stick to your game and play steady you should hopefully give yourself a shot.
Enoch briefly reached ten under par after an eagle on the ninth, but followed up with a double bogey and ultimately the 28 year old Welshman had to settle for a share of the lead.
Lima bogeyed his first hole but thereafter the Portuguese played flawless golf and he remains firmly in the hunt for a second title of the season to add to his Najeti Open win.
One shot behind the leaders on seven under par is James Heath, while a birdie on his final hole took Romain Langasque – the highest-ranked player in the field – to the cut mark of one over par, with 69 others also making the weekend.
All six Scots in the field made the halfway cut at145 and better. Top Scot is Duncan Stewart (pictured) with 71 and 70 for 141 and T15 position, a shot ahead of David Law (69-73), Jack Doherty (70-72) and Peter Whiteford (69-73).

Terre Dei Consoli Golf Club, 
Monterosi, Italy
Par 144 (2x72)
136 Rhys Enoch (Wales) 65 71, Victor Riu (France) 67 69, Jose-Filipe (Portugal) 67 69, Aaron Rai (England) 70 66
137 James Heath (England) 69 68

141 Duncan Stewart 71 70 (T15)  
142 David Law 69 72, Jack Doherty 70 72, Peter Whiteford 69 73 (T26)
144 Paul Shields 69 75 (T44)
145 Scott Henry 71 74 (T56)

CUT FELL AT 146, i.e. 145 and better qualified.  



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