Friday, 03 May 2013
Jamie Moul - 6th on the 2011 Challenge Tour Rankings ()
Jamie Moul - 6th on the 2011 Challenge Tour Rankings ()
England’s Jamie Moul signalled a welcome return to form by taking the halfway lead in the Montecchia Golf Open presented by POLAROID.

Moul endured an unsuccessful rookie season on The European Tour in 2012, having graduated from the Challenge Tour the previous year, but a 67 to follow a first-round 65 left him ten under par, one shot ahead of Frenchmen Eduardo Espana, Julien Guerrier and Charles-Eduoard Russo, American Brooks Koepka, Italian Andrea Rota and Northern Ireland’s Gareth Shaw.

All the afternoon groups from Friday's second round had to resume play at 07.30 on Saturday morning after thunderstorms forced the suspension of play the day before, but no one was able to usurp Moul.

“It must be something about Italy,” said Moul, who won the Acaya Open in Puglia in 2011. “I played very solidly and hit a lot of wedge shots close. I was mostly on the fairway, holed some putts, missed some putts – pretty boring really but it was just very solid.

“Obviously it’s disappointing to be back on the Challenge Tour, but I was rubbish last year. My swing got out of kilter and was very inconsistent. I worked very hard on correcting it over the winter and it’s feeling much better, but it’s still in progress so I wasn’t expecting too much from this week.

“I learned a lot last year, despite not playing well. I feel if I can get straight back to the main Tour I’ll be much better equipped.”

Shaw finished tied fourth in an Alps Tour event at Golf Club della Montecchia last year, en route to winning the Order of Merit, and was pleased with a three under par 68.

“I made a great start with three straight birdies which settled the nerves a little bit,” said the 27 year old. “I could have been six under after six but I missed a couple of putts inside ten feet.

“I’m happy with where I am though; it’s great to be up there. Although I won the Alps Tour Order of Merit last year I didn’t win a title. I finished in the top five six or seven times so it was the consistency that did it for me. Hopefully I can win here this week, but there’s a long way to go yet.”

Guerrier had eight birdies in 12 holes for a 65 after a poor start, although having just returned from injury he is exceeding expectations. 

“This is only my second tournament after five months out with a back problem, so I’m very happy to be at the right end of the leaderboard," he said. "That was the third time in five years I’ve had the same back injury, but hopefully it is fixed now.”


Northern Ireland's Alan Dunbar, the 2012 Amateur Champion who played in the Masters Tournament three weeks ago, made his first cut since turning professional thanks to two consecutive 69s which left him at four under par.

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18-23
2DOMINGO, AgustinESP18-16
3ROTA, AndreaITA18-13
4MANLEY, StuartWAL18-11
T5EDBERG, PelleSWE18-10
T5GUERRIER, JulienFRA18-10
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