Sport24.co.za | Green lights up Albatross for halfway lead

Cape Town – Gavin Green moved into the outright lead at the halfway stage of the Czech Masters but he will have to fend off a strong chasing pack, which includes three-time Major Champion Padraig Harrington and Ryder Cup hopeful Thomas Pieters, if he is to claim a maiden European Tour title.

The 24-year-old became the first Malaysian to top the Asian Tour Order of Merit last year, earning his European Tour card for the first time in the process, but he belied his inexperience at Albatross Golf Resort as he carded seven birdies in a four under second round 68.

That earned him a 12 under total, one shot clear of Jeff Winther of Denmark, who matched Green’s second round score thanks to six birdies and two bogeys.

“It was just an up and down day, I had a couple of really good holes, good birdies and made some putts, but I had a couple of bad decisions that led to a double. Then I didn’t get up and down for par on 17 and made bogey there but I kept the card pretty clean after that,” said Green.

“It was a lot harder out there today, the greens were softer and the fairways are softer and it played longer. The wind was a little stronger this morning then we had a bit of rain which made it even softer.

“It’s fun to be leader and it’s been a while since I’ve been in this position so I’m going to enjoy it – my dad’s on the bag so we’re going to have a nice dinner maybe and a good sleep and continue tomorrow,” said Green.

Two shots back was a four-strong contingent comprising Harrington, Italy’s Andrea Pavan, Finn Tapio Pulkkanen and former champion Pieters – who continues to impress as he eyes a wildcard selection for Thomas Bjørn’s European Ryder Cup team.

Eddie Pepperell is the only man in the field capable of potentially breaking into the automatic qualification spots at the conclusion of the penultimate week in the Ryder Cup points race, and he remains in the frame despite falling five shots off the pace following a one under 71.

Matt Wallace, meanwhile, is one of only four multiple winners on the European Tour this year but he would become the only three-time winner of the season if he were to triumph in Prague.

The Englishman enters the weekend just three shots back after the round of the day, a seven-under par 65.

Scores:

132 G Green (Mas) 64 68, 

133 J Winther (Den) 65 68, 

134 T Pulkkanen (Fin) 65 69, A Pavan (Ita) 65 69, P Harrington (Irl) 66 68, T Pieters (Bel) 64 70, 

135 P Hanson (Swe) 66 69, T Lewis (Eng) 69 66, M Wallace (Eng) 70 65, S Lee (Kor) 66 69, S Jamieson (Sco) 67 68, A Rai (Eng) 67 68, 

136 C Koepka (USA) 67 69, J Donaldson (Wal) 68 68, P Khongwatmai (Tha) 69 67, C Tarren (Eng) 64 72, C Syme (Sco) 66 70, A Knappe (Ger) 67 69, 

137 B Neil (Sco) 68 69, L Slattery (Eng) 65 72, N Bertasio (Ita) 66 71, C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 71 66, E Pepperell (Eng) 66 71, 138 D Willett (Eng) 68 70, N Cullen (Aus) 68 70, M Schwab (Aut) 69 69, J Kruyswijk (RSA) 70 68, N Elvira (Esp) 65 73, S Vincent (Zim) 67 71, J Thomson (Eng) 68 70, L Westwood (Eng) 66 72, D Lipsky (USA) 69 69, M Nixon (Eng) 68 70, M Baldwin (Eng) 70 68, J Guerrier (Fra) 71 67, 

139 J Daly (USA) 64 75, G Bhullar (Ind) 68 71, P Peterson (USA) 70 69, J Morrison (Eng) 70 69, D Boonma (Tha) 70 69, J Scrivener (Aus) 71 68, A Bland (Aus) 71 68, H Stewart (USA) 69 70, C Hanson (Eng) 72 67, J Smith (Eng) 70 69, M Kieffer (Ger) 69 70, J Choi (Kor) 69 70, A Connelly (Can) 69 70, J Edfors (Swe) 70 69, S Gallacher (Sco) 69 70, S Heisele (Ger) 72 67, R Paratore (Ita) 67 72, B Hebert (Fra) 69 70, 

140 L Herbert (Aus) 69 71, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 69, C Shinkwin (Eng) 67 73, S Hend (Aus) 71 69, S Gros (Fra) 70 70, R Bland (Eng) 69 71, D Howell (Eng) 69 71, P Karmis (Gre) 69 71, P Widegren (Swe) 71 69, P Angles (Esp) 67 73, J Ritchie (RSA) 70 70, L Bjerregaard (Den) 68 72, R Evans (Eng) 67 73, R Cho (Kor) 70 70, J Walters (RSA) 71 69, H Porteous (RSA) 71 69, A Chesters (Eng) 68 72, C Ford (Eng) 70 70, 

141 A Sandhu (Ind) 71 70, B Evans (Eng) 72 69, A Wu (Chn) 69 72, M Korhonen (Fin) 70 71, M Pavon (Fra) 71 70, S Khan (Eng) 69 72, S Kjeldsen (Den) 70 71, D Burmester (RSA) 72 69, S Brown (Eng) 68 73, P Oriol (Esp) 69 72, P Waring (Eng) 66 75, O Farr (Wal) 67 74, R Gouveia (Por) 71 70, J Stalter (Fra) 71 70, A Cañizares (Esp) 70 71, 

142 B Ritthammer (Ger) 71 71, A Hansen (Den) 73 69, J Wang (Kor) 72 70, M Decottignies-Lafon (Fra) 74 68, J Geary (Nzl) 71 71, G Moynihan (Irl) 70 72, C Blomstrand (Swe) 72 70, M Warren (Sco) 68 74, D Love (USA) 69 73, M Tullo (Chi) 72 70, D Im (USA) 69 73, S Fernandez (Esp) 68 74, S Chawrasia (Ind) 73 69, A Saddier (Fra) 71 71, 

143 M Armitage (Eng) 70 73, H Leon (Chi) 71 72, C Sordet (Fra) 71 72, F Mruzek (Cze) 69 74, A Dodt (Aus) 66 77, S Webster (Eng) 72 71, G Bourdy (Fra) 72 71, J Munro (Aus) 72 71, 

144 B Hafthorsson (Isl) 70 74, O Lieser (Cze) 69 75, G Stal (Fra) 72 72, J Cafourek (Cze) 69 75, G Porteous (Eng) 72 72, M Ford (Eng) 70 74, D Drysdale (Sco) 71 73, H Sturehed (Swe) 70 74, S Matus (Cze) 72 72, J Sjöholm (Swe) 71 73, M Gradecki (Pol) 72 72, S Brazel (Aus) 74 70, A Korinek (Cze) 71 73, 

145 M Siem (Ger) 73 72, T Aiken (RSA) 73 72, F Fritsch (Ger) 72 73, A Meronk (Pol) 75 70, L Canter (Eng) 69 76, 

146 J Janewattananond (Tha) 71 75, O Fisher (Eng) 69 77, F Aguilar (Chi) 75 71, M Manassero (Ita) 73 73, C Pigem (Esp) 72 74, V Tichy (am) (Cze) 74 72, Š Zach (am) (Cze) 73 73, 

147 D Brooks (Eng) 73 74, D Suchan (Cze) 72 75, A Puchmelter (Svk) 75 72, R Gruber (Aut) 70 77, L Tintera (Cze) 70 77, A Leitmannstetter (Ger) 74 73, P Gal (Cze) 71 76, 

148 N Colsaerts (Bel) 72 76, J Norris (Aus) 77 71, 

149 A Johnston (Eng) 75 74, M Millar (Aus) 75 74, L Robinson (Eng) 72 77, P McBride (Irl) 72 77, 

150 P Valasek (Svk) 76 74, 

151 R Gonzalez (Arg) 73 78, Ó Serna (Mex) 76 75, M Pospisil (Cze) 75 76, R Wattel (Fra) 75 76, 

152 J Friesz (Svk) 76 76, 

153 B Staben (Ger) 76 77, C Doak (Sco) 76 77, 

158 P Dedek (Cze) 79 79, 

** P Howard (Eng) 76 RT,

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