Friday, October 11, 2019


Dane Joachim B. Hansen produced a composed round of 66 to earn a two-shot clubhouse lead following his second round at the Italian Open.


Hansen recorded his best result of the season with a tied for fourth finish at the Mutuactivos Open de España last week, which effectively secured his playing privileges for the 2020 European Tour campaign.
And the Dane carried his fine form over to Olgiata Golf Club with a five under par round on Friday to add to his opening round 67 to get a total of nine under par.
World Number Five Justin Rose looked set to join Hansen at the top of the leaderboard until a double bogey at the penultimate hole derailed his second day to drop back to seven under alongside India’s Shubhankar Sharma and Slovakian Rory Sabbatini.
Sabbatini wasted no time in joining Pulkkanen at the top of the leaderboard courtesy of an eight foot birdie putt at the first to get to seven under.
Mikko Korhonen, who started on the back nine, then surged into contention with five successive birdies from the 17th to become co-leader with his fellow Finn and Sabbatini.
Hansen quietly edged his way into the ascendency after bouncing back from a bogey on the opening hole with an eagle two at the fifth before increasing the pack at the top to four with gains at the ninth and tenth.
Only Korhonen had secured victories on the European Tour from the leading quartet but they would have been wary of 11 time winner Rose, who was making his move just behind.
The 2013 U.S. Open Championship winner started the day at five under but dropped a shot at the 11th before responding with a tap in birdie at the next.
He was unlucky not to improve his score as he parred the next four holes and narrowly missed an eagle chance at the 17th but rolled in his second gain to sit one off the leaders.
Rose followed this with a stunning approach at the 18th and when he tapped in for birdie, he made it a five way tie at the top.
The Englishman got his eye in with another fine approach at the next and became the first player to reach eight under after completing a hat-trick of birdies to lead the field.
Hansen bogeyed the 11th to drop back to six under but hit back with a gain at the next, and Rose joined the large group at that mark after dropping a shot following a wayward tee at the third.
Rose and Hansen jumped back ahead to eight under following birdies at the fourth and 14th respectively and when the Dane rattled home another gain from 15 feet at the 15th, he was the leader at nine under.
Overnight leader Pulkkanen birdied the first hole to move to eight under, only to give that shot back at the next while Rose hit back immediately as he dialled in to concessional range at the fifth to join Hansen.
Rose found himself alone at the top when the 29-year-old bogeyed the 16th, with the Englishman salvaging par after a misjudged tee shot at the seventh.
Hansen reached the par five 17th in two and was inches from holing a monster eagle putt from over 70 feet to rejoin Rose before parring the last for a solid 66.
However, Rose found water off the tee at the eighth and took a penalty drop but his approach onto the green came up short as the former World Number One needed two putts for a double bogey to fall back to seven under.
Rose had the chance to hit back at the par five ninth, only to hit another wayward tee shot and approach but somehow managed to save par to card a 69.
Sharma mixed six birdies with two dropped shots and a double bogey for a 69, while Sabbatini parred 11 consecutive holes after his opening gain before trading a bogey at the 13th with a birdie at the 15th.
Home favourite Andrea Pavan, who grew up playing on this course, is in the clubhouse one shot further adrift alongside Korhonen, South African Erik van Rooyen, Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger.
Pulkkanen and American Kurt Kitayama were also at six under as they began their second rounds.


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