The second day of the TIM Peru Open saw the Argentine duo of Sebastian Fernandez and Julio Zapato alongside Brad Sutterfield of the USA at the top of the leaderboard at Los Incas Country Club in Lima, while Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey leads the European charge at this the third event of the 2005 Challenge Tour season.
The 25 year old Northern Irishman – a former British Amateur Champion and Walker Cup winner – put together five birdies, two bogeys and 11 pars to post his second consecutive 69 at Los Incas Country Club and join Argentina’s Francisco Ojeda in a tie for fourth place, two shots behind the leaders.
Hoey is enjoying an excellent start his 2005 Challenge Tour campaign, having taken third place at last weekend’s Panasonic Panama Open and securing a cheque for €10,535 that moved to him sixth on the Rankings.
“It was a pretty good day for me today,” said Hoey. “I was three under after four holes after three good putts, and was also a bit lucky. I hit two pins absolutely flush and had tap-in birdies. Later in the round I didn’t play that well but I’m satisfied with the outcome.”
Sutterfield was satisfied with his second round of six under par 66 to take a share of the lead but could have led the tournament outright had it not been for a bogey at the par three, 17th.
Challenge Tour Member Fernandez had a similar chance to go to the top of the leadrboard on his own, but missed from eight feet on the 15th as he posted a second round 70.
“It was a severe left-to-right putt and it just caught the edge. I then hit my drive in the trees at the 16th and added to that mistake by three-putting. Fortunately I was able to make a birdie at the last, so that was pleasing. In all, to be where I am, at the top, no matter a few problems, is what I would have wished for at the start. The idea now is to try and stay around there till Sunday afternoon. All that comes before is just positioning.”
Paraguay’s Carlos Franco, who was one off the pace after the first round had a frustrating day with his round of one over par 73, but was looking forward to making amends for missed chances over the weekend.
“I actually played good, but I missed a lot of putts, good chances. I even missed one of around twelve inches. But there’s still a long way to go and I feel fine and relaxed,” said Franco, who has four career wins on the US PGA Tour to his name.
Argentina’s Rafael Gomez, the 47th Abierto Mexicano de Golf Champion and current Challenge Tour Number One, added a two under under 70 to his opening 69. “I feel fine, another regular day, still striking the ball well. I like these greens but I’m not making many putts, although I’m putting well. I like the speed, much like the speed but they get much more difficult in the afternoon. The ground gets harder and the grass grows, so the ball has a tendency to jump off the putter blade.”