By Nick Totten for europeantour.com
After a four hour fog delay on day one, Andrea Pavan returned Friday morning to finish off an excellent opening round of 64 to lead by one at the Open Blue Green Côtes d'Armor Bretagne.
The Italian, who won earlier this year at the Bad Griesbach Challenge Tour by Hartl Resort, returned to Golf Blue Green de Pléneuf Val André handily placed after a handful of birdies on Thursday, a run of form that continued the following day to charge to the top in France at six under par.
Pavan is clearly playing well, making only one bogey on a course that can bring about high scores, and he took advantage of softer conditions on Friday morning to finish off a fine round.
“I played solid as on this golf course you cannot get away with mistakes,” said Pavan. “Yesterday afternoon the greens were a bit bumpy but I managed to roll in a couple of putts. I also hit the driver well when I needed to and kept my tee shots in play, and on this golf course if you are in play off the tee you have done well, so it was a good round.
“The greens were very good this morning, they were rolling very nicely, so putting from under ten feet was quite nice and you could see the line and the ball rolled nicely. It was playing softer after the rain, which was easier, but it was also colder and the wind was picking up, but I’m happy how I finished. It was too bad that I three putted eight for bogey, but I got it back on nine which was good.
“You have to get used to the weather delays, it happens so much over the course of a season, and this is what we do. You just need to be ready, any time of the day, so it happens and unfortunately the weather has not been great, but today seems nice and hopefully we can get back on schedule.
“My back is hurting a bit, I struggled slightly yesterday, but once I warmed up it was OK. I seemed to hit the ball well though, and to shoot six under, I might as well always have a sore back.”
One adrift of Pavan is Denmark's Joakim Mikkelson, who finished in the last group of the morning at five under par. He is alongside Iceland's Birgir Hafthorsson who carded birdies at the fifth, ninth, tenth, 11th, 15th and 16th holes, with just a solitary bogey at the 14th, and he is clearly happy to be playing well.
“I kept the ball in play, which is very important here,” explained Hafthorsson. “I putted very well so in the end I’m very happy. Coming back this morning to finish off was alright, as I was supposed to be out early anyway.
“The course certainly suited my game today, it is a funky course where anything can happen, and it is easy to make a high number if you miss one shot, so you just need to keep it in play and hole the putts. I got into this event late, it is only my fourth tournament, so I need a good result to get it going.”
Both Hafthorsson and Mickelsson are a shot clear of England’s Gary Boyd who also closed out a solid opening 18 holes on the second morning. At one point he had found himself alongside Pavan at the top of affairs, but a costly double bogey after a lost ball at the 16th hole saw him drop back.
He is alongside overnight leaders Alan Dunbar, Moritz Lampert and Jamie McLeary on four under par, a shot adrift in a tie for fourth ahead of Paul Dwyer and Augustin Domingo who both signed for three under par rounds of 67 on Friday morning to finish in a tie for eighth.