Friday, May 17, 2013


                        Craig Lee in action today. Picture courtesy of Getty Images (c)


Scot Craig Lee moved into a one-shot lead at the Madeira Islands 
Open  – Portugal – BPI courtesy of a four under par second round 
of 68, on a weather-affected day when former US Amateur 
Champion Peter Uihlein threatened the magic number 59.

Lee, a Challenge Tour graduate in 2011, was forced to come off 
the course for an hour and 20 minutes early on his round after fog 
fell over the Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra course, where the 
second round was later suspended due to darkness.

But that didn’t faze the Scot as he made light of the windy 
morning conditions to card five birdies and just a single bogey, 
moving him into the driving seat for a maiden European Tour 

Later in the day American Uihlein, the son of Walter Uihlein – 
CEO of major golf apparel and equipment manufacturer 
Acushnet - looked set to storm to the top of the leaderboard 
after he carded eight birdies and an eagle to move briefly to the 
summit on 10 under par, through 12 holes.

As excitement built at the prospect of a 59 at the stunning 
mountain-top venue, however, the wind began to show its teeth 
and Uihlein bogeyed the 15th and 16th to card an eight under par 64 
and finish the day in tied second, one shot off the pace.

That meant Lee sat atop the leaderboard overnight, with some 
players still yet to finish their second rounds on the resumption of 
play on Saturday morning.

“It was very tricky out there,” said the 34 year old. “Early doors it 
was pretty cold and then the fog came down and there was a delay 
so it was pretty hard to focus and get back into it again, but I 
managed to do that.

“I managed to get my distance control right with a lot of my wedge 
shots and that’s key here, so that set me up for some regulation 
birdies and that was nice.

“It’s so difficult with the wind and the cold, it’s all making a 
difference. It’s tough mentally so I'm delighted with the score.”

Uihlein, meanwhile, was thrilled to have climbed 37 places, having 
begun the day eight shots off the lead, and move into contention 
despite a disappointing finish to an otherwise spectacular round.

“It was really fun,” said the 23 year old. “I hit it well, I putted 
well  and the first 12 holes were pretty special. It was just 
drawing out perfect. You have a game plan and you just 
execute it and that’s all it was in those first 12 holes.

“There were some really hard holes on the way in and it got very 
cold at the end so I'm glad to be done. Today I just tried to put a 
little more focus on my scoring clubs and really put the ball in the 
right spot on the greens.

“You can get is close here but if you’re on the wrong side of the 
hole you’re putting defensively. Today I put them on the right side 
of the hole, made a couple of nice putts and my wedges were really 

“I never really thought about the 59 to be honest, because I knew 
the holes coming in were tough, but it was a really good day.”

Alongside Uihlein was Chilean Mark Tullo, who added a three 
under par 69 to his opening round of 67 to move to eight under par, 
while Frenchman Thomas Levet was a shot further back on seven 
under after a superb six under par back nine helped the former 
Ryder Cup player to a five under par 67.
Par 144 (2x72)
135 Craig Lee (Scotland) 67 68.
136 Peter Uihlein (USA) 72 64
137 Thomas Levet (France) 70 67.

139 Lloyd Saltman 64 75 (T8)
143 Chris Doak 73 70 (T26)
144 Peter Whiteford 70 74 (T41)
145 Raymond Russell 73 72 (T53)

MISSED THE CUT (146 and better expected to be qualifying mark)
149 Alastair Forsyth 71 78
150 Andrew McArthur 78 72, Callum Macaulay 73 77
152 George Murray 78 74
153 Steven O'Hara 76 77   





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