Oct 24th, 2020
Canter holds on to Italian Open lead
Englishman still on course for first win on European Tour
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
The Englishman picked up where he left off after Thursday’s 12 under par effort as he aims to secure his first European Tour victory, racing to three under through his first four holes. His pace slowed on the back nine after he dropped his first shot of the week on the par five 11th, but his fifth birdie of the day on the last took him to 16 under par and two shots clear of countryman Ross McGowan.
"I started off really nicely, picked up where I left off yesterday. Got myself three under early and had a couple more chances. Front nine was really good. Then just made a bit of a poor swing at 11 and ended up making a bogey. Obviously, on a par five around here, you usually get a great chance to make a birdie. That set me back a bit. I hung in there. I didn't play my best on the back nine, so actually level par for four under is a good effort." said Canter.
38-year-old McGowan carded a bogey-free round of 64 to keep Canter in his sights as he bids to lift a European Tour trophy for the first time since the 2009 Madrid Masters.
“The putter has been pretty hot. The greens are good and the ball is going in, which is a good start. My driving hasn’t been great – it's not a course that emphasises that – but I’m going to try and improve that for the weekend." said McGowan.
"It’s just the putter this week. I made a lot of cuts in the UK Swing and a couple of events after that, I just couldn’t get the putter going. The last two days, we’ve holed a lot of them."
South African Dean Burmester is two shots further back on 12 under par, with Dane Joachim B. Hansen recovering from a double bogey on the fifth to sign for a 69 and get to 11 under par. His countryman Nicolai Højgaard is at ten under par alongside Frenchman Robin Roussel and last week’s Scottish Championship presented by AXA winner Adrian Otaegui of Spain.
Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger and two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer are then amongst a group of ten players on nine under par. Dutchman Lars van Meijel will return tomorrow morning to complete his second round due to darkness. Round three will start after 8:30 am local time in three balls from the first tee.