Italy’s Andrea Maestroni shares the lead with England’s Mark Foster and Miles Tunnicliff at halfway in the San Paolo Vita and Asset Management Open in Italy. The trio are on 12 under par 132, a shot clear of the field at Margara
Maestroni, son of an Italian professional, plays few Challenge Tour events because he doesn’t have a category. But the 22 year old from Garda, is in good form having progressed through PQ1 at Five Lakes recently.
His 64 at Margara was bogey-free and contained eight birdies, while Foster and Tunnicliff both fired second successive 66s, Foster with an eagle, five birdies and one dropped shot, and Tunnicliff with six birdies
Despite a 35-minute delay for fog in the morning, it was another low scoring day in the Italian sunshine.
Four players share fourth place on 133 including Londoner Chris Gane, who matched Maestroni’s 64 with an eagle and seven birdies. Dutchman Robert Jan Derksen, who shot 65, Peter Malmgren from Sweden with 66, and Denmark’s Mads Vibe-Hastrup join him on 133 after a 68.
Another Swede, Klas Eriksson, who led after an opening 64, dropped back to joint eighth on 134 after a 70 and is joined by fellow countryman Peter Hedblom and Italy’s Alberto Binaghi.
England’s Richard Bland also signed for 65 to climb to joint 11th on 135 along with Sweden’s Magnus Persson, Jesus Maria Arruti from Spain and Australia’s Peter Fowler.
The cut came at four under par 140 with 61 players surviving for the final two rounds. English left-hander Stuart Little returned 64 to make the cut on 139, two strokes inside the limit, but among those who didn’t was another Englishman, Iain Pyman, the winner in Austria last week.
He finished on 143 after a 71, whilst another casualty was Sam Little, winner of the Formby Hall Challenge last month, who was on 142.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson, a double winner this year, missed out despite a 67. He had little chance of surviving after an opening 82 but he battled bravely to card seven birdies, finishing on 149, nine strokes too many.