Friday, May 07, 2010

Andrew McArthur (66) leading Scot at-
halfway stage of BMW Italian Open

Fredrik Andersson Hed hopes a maiden European Tour win at the BMW Italian Open this weekend can see him cement his position amongst the elite.
The 38 year old reached eight under par for a one stroke halfway lead in Turin, and the Swede admits it is time for him to convert an opportunity into a win on the big stage.
Having regained his European Tour card after an incredible 14th trip to The Qualifying School last November he has finished fourth in South Africa and seventh in India this season. Andersson Hed was one of 18 players forced to complete their first rounds at 8am this morning following Thursday's two hour delay, carding an opening 70 before adding a 66 by playing the last five holes in four under par with an eagle two and two birdies.
"In South Africa when I had a chance to win I was a bit too tense," he said. "In India I felt better and hopefully I will feel even better this weekend.
"Some people think I have so much experience but if it's been a few years since you were in that position it feels like a new situation."
One behind after two rounds at Royal Park I Roveri is Spain's Miguel Angel Jiménez, his compatriots Alejandro Cañizares and Ignacio Garrido, Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts and South African Hennie Otto.
Teenage Italian star Matteo Manassero is just four off the lead on his professional debut after consecutive rounds of 70 which confirmed his enormous potential.
Jiménez - who claimed his 16th European Tour title in Dubai earlier this year said: "It's almost ten years since I played in Italy and they have made a big effort to make this a special tournament so I wanted to support this tournament and The Tour."
The highlight of his round came at the par five 18th, his ninth hole, when he holed a pitch shot from 70 yards for an eagle 3.
Jiménez has made three Ryder Cup appearances and is currently 14th in the qualifying race, and added: "There is a lot of competition and one thing is guaranteed, Europe will have a very good team.
"If I play well I will be there and very pleased to play in Europe's colours, but if not it will not damage me as there are so many good players. That is the future and we have to make way for them. The Ryder Cup is so important and the most important thing is to have the best team there."
Manassero turned professional on Monday after a stellar amateur career and at 17 years and 20 days old could become the youngest winner in European Tour history on Sunday.
New Zealand's Danny Lee was 18 years and 213 days old, and still an amateur, when he won the 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic.
"It's a great feeling," said Manassero, who outscored playing partner Colin Montgomerie by eight shots and would have only been only two off the lead if not for a double bogey on 16.
"I played very well today and I'm obviously happy with my game. Two under was not enough because my game was good enough to shoot five or six under today, but I'm tenth so I'm really happy about that.
"I'm playing well enough to be in contention and I'm pretty sure about my game going into the weekend. I'm dreaming a little about winning this tournament and if I keep playing like this I could be close.

SCOTSWATCH. Andrew McArthur (pictured above), struggling badly on occasion in this early part of the season, suddenly hit form with a bang with a second-round 66, an improvement of seven strokes in 24 hours. That makes him the leading Scot in Turin on 139 at halfway. There are five Scots in the top 10, which is the best Tartan "grouping" of the year.
Paul Lawrie slipped back a wee bit with a par 72 for 140 but he is still well in the picture alongwith Peter Whiteford (71) and Andrew Coltart (70), also on the four-under-par mark.
Alastair Forsyth is having his best tournament for a while. He had a 71 to make the cut - level par 144 or better qualified - with ease on 141.
David Drysdale's form is hardly consistent at the moment. After a sparkling first-day 68 he lurched to a 74 for 142 - two shots ahead of the two Scots who made the cut right on the limit mark, Richie Ramsay (73-71) and Steven O'Hara (70-74).
Scots who missed out were Scott Drummond (72-146), Stephen Gallacher (74 -147), Colin Montgomery (72-148) and Marc Warren (73-152). Gary Orr retired.




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