Friday, May 20, 2011


Ireland's Simon Thornton established a one shot lead at the halfway stage of the Madeira Islands Open after a second round 66 at Porto Santo Golfe.
Having shown some promising signs with his 16th-place finish in Mallorca last week, the 33 year old carded an eagle on the par five third en route to an outward 34.
But he did most of his good work on the back nine, with four unanswered birdies giving him a six under par round and seven under total.
That gave him a one shot lead over France's François Delamontagne, with overnight leader Chris Gane and his English compatriot Jamie Elson tied for third on five under.
"I played well today, and I drove and putted well in worse conditions yesterday," said Thornton, who was third at the halfway stage of this event last year before fading over the weekend. "I just hit lots of fairways and my putter's hot at the moment so it was a good round today.
"Just one really long one on the top of the hill there, at 15. I putted on the third for eagle off the green and holed that putt, but apart from that, most of them were close. At the moment they're going in, so hopefully it'll last over the weekend as well.
"Keep doing what I'm doing. Keep it in the fairways. It's firm enough so you just got to keep putting it in the right places.
"Obviously last week was very fiery at the weekend. Hopefully it won't be like this here, but similar conditions as I say, it suits my game. I don't carry it very far off the tee but it runs out quite a long way - this course suits my game."
Delamontagne started on the back nine and at one stage was four under par for the day - thanks in part to a chip-in at 18 - but he dropped shots at the fourth and seventh as he signed for a 70.
"Maybe I missed a few shots today but my putting was just amazing, I think I took 20 putts, that's my record by maybe four or five putts. It's much easier when you're putting like this!," said the 32 year old, who is still looking for a first European Tour title.
"But the rest was okay. My back nine was not very easy, it was very, very tough. A few holes you had to be really concentrate, and it's very easy to make bogey. Maybe not double, but if your shot is not perfect, you're left with a tough chip or tough putt, so there's a lot of opportunity for birdies on the back nine. But the front nine is very tough."
Elson signed off in style with a birdie-birdie finish as he posted a 68.
"I'm pretty happy with that," he said. "I birdied the ninth yesterday too, even though it's quite a tough hole with the wind coming across you. But I've hit two great shots to eight feet and rolled in the putt both times, so I'm very pleased."
Gane was level par for the day, but still pleased with his work over the first two days.
"I'm happy with that," he said. "I didn't play as well as I did yesterday, but I scrambled well. You need a bit of luck out there, and maybe I didn't get it today. But hopefully that changes over the weekend."
Denmark’s Andreas Hartø, Scotland’s Alastair Forsyth and Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey – whose only previous European Tour victory came on Portuguese soil – are tied for fifth on four under.


Par 144 (2x72)
137 Simon Thornton (Ireland) 71 66.
138 Francois Delamontagne (France) 68 70.
139 Jamie Elson (England) 71 68, Chris Gane (England) 67 72.
140 Andreas Harto (Denmark) 73 67, Alastair Forsyth (Scotland) 71 69, Michael Hoey (N Ireland) 72 68.
141 Lloyd Saltman (Scotland) 68 73.
145 George Murray 76 69, Chris Doak 73 71 (T31).
148 Andrew Coltart 75 73, Jame McLeary 78 70 (T64).
MISSED THE CUT (148 or better qualified)
149 Elliot Saltman 76 73.
152 Scott Drummong 75 77, Marc Warren 77 75.
153 Craig Lee 78 75.
156 Jack Doherty 80 76, Callum Macaulay 79 77.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google