Canada’s Wes Heffernan and Graham DeLaet join Mikko Korhonen and Roope Kakko of Finland at the top of the leaderboard after the second round foursomes at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup Qualifier.
Finland, who led by one shot overnight, continued their run of good form shooting a four under par 68 in the challenging foursomes format to take them to 12 under par.
This total was later matched when Canada carded an impressive 67, the best round of the day, to join the Finns at 12 under.
The foursomes format proved a tough one for most teams with only three nations recording under par scores for the day. The Portuguese team of Tiago Cruz and Ricardo Santos moved ahead of the Czech Republic and into third place on seven under after a one under par round of 71.
The Czech Republic will be hoping for a return to form in tomorrow’s fourball format having fallen back to just two under par after a disappointing 78. Switzerland moved into fourth place with a 73 and will be hoping they can continue make up some ground on Saturday.
Having decided a conservative approach was the way to go for the alternate shot format, the Finns were all smiles after their round.
“Today was really good”, said Kakko. “We kept the ball on the fairway and it was a joy to play with Mikko. He makes no mistakes so he is an easy partner to play with.”
Missing just one fairway during their round, the Finnish duo made just two bogeys against six birdies in what was an impressive display of foursomes golf.
“We missed the fairway on the first hole and made bogey and then a three putt on the 12th led to our second bogey. You can blame both of those on me”, joked Kakko after the round. “Other than the first hole, we made no mistakes off the tee today and we were able to make birdies on key holes, including the 18th which we bogeyed yesterday.”
Korhonen added: “Conditions were a little easier today with less wind. Yesterday on the 18th I was hitting 5 iron to the green but today I had a wedge for my second shot which set us up for our sixth birdie. We are looking forward to the rest of the week”.
The round of the day belonged to Canada who achieved their goal of keeping the ball on the short grass in challenging foursomes format.
“We played really well today,” said Heffernan. “We only missed two greens in regulation all day and I think we hit all but two fairways. If you’re hitting fairways you are in a good position to make putts. Graham is such a long hitter that he was putting us in a great position on the par 5’s and we made birdie on three out of four.”
Canada’s only bogey of the day came on the 16th hole. “I hit the tee shot way right,” said Heffernan. “We could only pitch it sideways out of the thick rough and were really pleased to walk away with bogey on that hole.”
Big hitting DeLaet was quick to praise the quality of the Sierra Golf Club greens. “The greens here in Poland are perfect. They are holding out really well and because there isn’t too much traffic on them, they are running very true”.
When asked about their thoughts on making the trip to China for the Omega Mission Hills World Cup both Heffernan and DeLaet were quick to point out that there was still a long way to go. “If we can play the last two days like we have the first two, we will have a great chance to make it to China.
“ We played conservatively today but we can be more aggressive in tomorrow’s fourball format. There were a couple of holes today where I hit 3 wood where I will definitely hit driver tomorrow,” said DeLaet.
The Portuguese team remained upbeat after their round and are looking forward to a return to the Fourball Format on Satruday when they will aim to cement their third place.
The Scores – after round 2
132 – Finland (Roope KAKKO / Mikko KORHONEN), Canada (Graham DELAET / Wes HEFFERNAN)
137 – Portugal (Tiago CRUZ / Ricardo SANTOS)
141 – Switzerland (André BOSSERT / Martin ROMINGER)
143 – Czech Republic (Jakub KUCERA / Ondrej LEBL)
144 – Belgium (Gerald GRESSE / Laurent RICHARD)
147 – Iceland (Heidar BRAGASON / Bjorgvin SIGURBERGSSON), Norway (Paul NILBRINK / Kristoffer REE)
150 – Poland (Jakub OSSOWSKI / Marcin STELMASIAK)
152 – Israel (Jakub OSSOWSKI / Marcin STELMASIAK)
153 – Slovenia (Janez GRILC / Damjan MURGELJ)
154 – Greece (George DIAKOU / Themis GINIS)
164 – Croatia (Darko LJUBANOVIC / Miro RAIC)