May 14th, 2021
MacIntyre makes a move at the Belfy
British trio lead Betfred British Masters
Photography: Getty Images
The Scotsman, searching for his second European Tour victory, raced up the leaderboard with five birdies on his first five holes on the iconic Brabazon Course at The Belfry, making the turn four under par. Three birdies on his closing five holes saw him sign for a seven-under-par total, sharing the lead with compatriot Calum Hill and England’s Richard Bland.
"It was one of those days where you start off and everything you look at goes in," said MacIntyre.
"It was exactly where we’re aiming it and it was good to see the work we’ve been putting in on the putting continuing to perform."
It is the first time Bland has shared the lead after 36 holes at a European Tour event since the British Masters in 2016, as he bids to record a maiden win on his 478th start. The 48-year-old is the only bogey-free player after two rounds, adding to yesterday’s score of 68 with a round of 69.
"Tee to green has been the secret. I think I missed two fairways yesterday and they were both by six inches and I think I only missed two today too, so that means my greens in regulation stats are pretty up as well," said Bland.
Hill continued the form which has seen him record three top-eight finishes on the 2021 Race to Dubai, which included a season-best result of tied third at the Kenya Savannah Classic supported by Absa in March.
"I think the weather was more favourable than it could’ve been, so not too bad," said Hill.
"I’ve had a couple of chip-ins from the first two rounds already. I keep knocking it close and not putting too much stress on my putter when I need to get up and down, so it’s been really good."
Englishman Eddie Pepperell, winner of the British Masters in 2018 at Walton Heath, shares fourth place with Frenchman Julien Guerrier and South African Justin Harding.
Tournament host Danny Willett remains in the hunt after a level par round of 72. The 2016 Masters champion shares sixteenth place on three-under-par. Willett has raised £9,000 for his chosen charity, Prostate Cancer UK, after carding four second round birdies, adding to the five he recorded yesterday. Tournament title sponsors Betfred have pledged £1,000 for every birdie and £2,000 for every eagle Willett records this week to Prostate Cancer UK.