There was a presence of Czech Republic players still involved on the weekend at the D+D Real Czech Challenge Open as Stanislav Matus, Ondrej Lieser and Lukas Tintera all made the halfway cut at Golf & Spa Kunetická Hora.
Along with 68 other players from across the world, home favourites Matus, Lieser and Tintera progressed with 36-hole aggregate scores of six under par, five under and three under par respectively to ensure a native representation in the final two rounds.
With promoter and president of the sponsors D+D Petr Dedek earlier this week clearly stating his desire to provide a global platform for promising Czech golfers, the domestic contingent were clearly compelled to deliver.
Matus, who was schooled at the University of Arizona, shot a two under par 70 in the first round before going two better on Friday in a round that featured six birdies and two bogeys en route to a 68 and a place inside the top 30 heading into the weekend.
“I felt good out there,” he said. “My friend caddied for me and he helped a lot with the club decisions. I made a lot of birdies, that’s 13 in two days so I’m really happy.
“I think it’s great for Czech golf and great for this tournament for us to have at least a few of the home guys playing the weekend.”
Lieser, meanwhile, was the highest Czech finisher in the inaugural edition of the event in 2012, when he placed tied 33rd at Kuneticka Hora, and for the majority of Friday it looked like the promising 21 year old could well have been on course for a repeat.
Golf & Spa Kuneticka Hora is Lieser’s home club and he showed fine tact around it in a three under par 69 on Thursday, before signing for a two under par 70 on Friday that could have been much better were it not for an immense struggle at the long 16th.
“I took my driver from the back, which is a risky shot on that hole, but I hit such a solid cut into such a good position that I decided to take four iron and go for the green in two,” said Lieser, who up to that point had been four under par for the day.
“But I hit it badly, pulled it into the bunker and took three shots to get out and made double bogey.
“It’s good, though, having struggled with injury recently, and I holed a good few putts over 25 feet so that’s great.”
He continued: “Last year we had three guys make the cut so it’s good to match that, it’s important. Czech golf needs this; we need more players to make the cut and more to get right to the top of the leaderboard. What Petr and the promoters are doing with this tournament in trying to develop golf in this country is brilliant.”
Tintera faced a nervous wait to see if he would actually make the cut, however, but eventually progressed after finishing right on the mark on three under par following rounds of 71 and 70 over the first two days in Pardubice.