Friday, October 02, 2015

Delpodio delights home fans at Challenge Open

Italy’s Matteo Delpodio refused to be blown off course as he opened up a commanding four shot lead at his home event, the EMC Challenge Open, with the second round still to be completed following rain delays on the first day.
The 30 year old was the only player to break 70 in the first round at Rome’s Olgiata Golf Club as waterlogged greens postponed its completion until day two, and he followed it up with an outstanding three under par round of 68, finishing birdie-birdie, to sit on five under par.
Turin-born Delpodio spent the 2013 season on The European Tour but has struggled on the Challenge Tour this season, his best result a tied 22nd place in the Kӓrnten Golf Open presented by Mazda, but he believes his game is good enough to contend this week.
“I had a very good day,” he said. “The weather out there is tough and the course is tough, so everything had to be right in your game to play well.
“I’m very happy. I haven’t had a great season until now, even though I’ve felt I was playing well in the last few months, so I’m happy about this score and I just want to keep this freedom and concentration going.
“I managed to keep my focus going through this afternoon because I was playing well and I didn’t have to go looking for balls in the forest or anything, so I had a bit more mental energy to attack some pins.
“On the one hand it helped playing both rounds back-to-back in staying in the same form, on the other you get more tired playing this much in one day.
“The finish I had comes from the quality of my round. When you play well you find more energy, and on the 17th I hit two great golf shots into the green, two putts for birdie, then on 18 I was in the rough but was lucky, and put a wedge to about one metre for birdie.
“I knew I was up there on the leaderboard but I didn’t check the numbers because I never check the numbers – we are not playing numbers, we are playing our best golf - that is my philosophy.
“To win in Italy would be a dream. I’ve never won here, even when I was on the Alps Tour, so that would be really special, but we’ll see on Sunday.”
After the delayed first round was completed, Finland’s Antti Ahokas, Spaniard Borja Virto Astudillo and England’s William Harrold were the only players other than Delpodio under par as scoring proved difficult on a long and testing course.
The delays meant that the completion of round two was also postponed until the third morning, though of those already in the clubhouse there were notable rounds from Stuart Manley, whose 68 left him on one under par, and Ricardo Gouveia.
The Portuguese, who lost his number one spot in the Road to Oman Rankings after Sebastien Gros’ victory at the Kazakhstan Open, is also on one under par after a second round of 69.
With half the field still out on the course as light faded, the second round will resume at 7.50am on Saturday.




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