A classic “Eureka!” moment inspired Stuart Manley to a superb second round 64 at the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final to move him into a four way tie for the lead alongside Jamie Donaldson, Michael Lorenzo-Vera and Mikael Lundberg.
While the great Greek philosopher and mathematician, Archimedes, coined the term Eureka while having a bath over 2000 years ago, Manley’s moment of discovery came in his hotel room shower on Wednesday evening.
The 28 year old Welshman rather candidly revealed that he was taking a shower when he came up with a potential cure for the putting ills that had been a huge source of frustration to him in recent weeks.
Normally the strongest part of his game, Manley, in his own words, “had been putting awfully” until the second round at the San Domenico Golf when he put his theory into practice to roll home no less than seven birdie putts and surge through the field to join Donaldson, Lorenzo-Vera and Lundberg at the top of the leaderboard on nine under par 133, one stroke clear of England’s Gary Clark and two clear of Chile’s Felipe Aguilar and Dutchman Joost Luiten.
“My chipping and putting were great today and I have struggled with the putter in the last few weeks which is why I haven’t been in contention. I was actually standing in the shower last night and something just came to me,” said Manley.
“I was thinking about the length of my stroke and I realised that I should be taking the putter back more. I thought about it and then as soon as I got out of the shower I wrote it down straight away and then came to the golf course this morning and tried it out on the putting green.
“It wasn’t great on the practice area, but as soon as I got out on the course I just started holing everything.”
Clark and Luiten got closest to Manley’s best of the day 64 with their own fine rounds of 66, while Donaldson moved to nine under par with a 67 and Lundberg, the winner of last week’s Toscana Open Italian Federation Cup, posted a second round 68.
Lorenzo-Vera, who had reset the San Domeinco Golf’s course record with a blistering 62 to take the first round lead had to settle for a level par 71.
“That’s okay,” said the Frenchman. “I had double bogey today on the 13th but managed to make a good birdie on the 16th. I am in a good position and would love to be able to win this week because I have done everything else but win this season and it would be a great way to finish the year as well.”
With current Challenge Tour Number One Ross McGowan slipping down the field into 34th place after a second round of three over par 74, both Donaldson and Lorenzo-Vera have a chance to win the Rankings by securing the €42,800 top prize and hoping McGowan remains near the bottom of the leaderboard.