Tadini continues Italian job in Moscow

07/09/2012 16:02:48
Alessandro Tadini (Vorobiev Valeriy) ()
Alessandro Tadini (Vorobiev Valeriy) ()
Alessandro Tadini continued the Italian dominance of the M2M Russian Challenge Cup as he overthrew his compatriot and first round leader Marco Crespi at the top thanks to a three under par second round of 69, which left him two shots clear on eight under.

In much tougher conditions at the stunning Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club, just outside Moscow, few managed to replicate the low scores of the opening day but Tadini was the only man to consolidate his place at the top end of the leaderboard to enter the weekend at the summit.

Crespi struggled to a five over par round of 77 while Espen Kofstad, in tied second place with Tadini after the first day, also fell back after a three over par 75.

In their place emerged England’s Chris Lloyd, who launched himself into contention with a four under par round of 68 to move to six under alongside Mark Tullo of Chile, who would have held the outright lead had he not triple-bogeyed the tenth - his final hole - and another Italian in Matteo Delpodio.

Tadini flew straight out of the blocks with a birdie at the tenth hole, his first, and while a bogey at the 16th meant he reached the turn in level par, three birdies on the way home took him into the outright lead as he chases a second win in four weeks after his fourth career Challenge Tour victory came at the recent ECCO Tour Championship hosted by Thomas Björn & Mercedes-Benz.

“I played really good today,” said Tadini. “It wasn’t quite as good as yesterday – I missed two very short putts today and my putting in general was so, so – but I'm feeling good.

“I have been here in Russia the past three years and I like it a lot. I hope to keep playing the way I am until Sunday. I'm driving it well and not missing any fairways and this is very important for this course.

“The flags were a little more difficult and the conditions are cold so the ball flies less but the greens are also difficult and I expect it to get even harder, with the weather and pin positions.

“I feel like my game is the same as it was in Denmark. I was delighted to have a week off last week, I was very tired so I needed to recharge my batteries.

“I had a week’s holiday where I did nothing. I think my confidence with the putting is still there and that’s very important for the next two weeks. It’s a good time to be in good form and hopefully I can keep it up.”

Lloyd, who finished in fifth place at the Rolex Trophy two weeks ago, carded an impressive bogey-free round at the Moscow venue as he continues to chase his first Challenge Tour title having come close at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic in March.

Tullo, meanwhile, takes much more experience into the weekend’s play at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course with two Challenge Tour wins under his belt. He looked to be heading into the lead after seven birdies and two bogeys took him through 17 holes on five under par for the day and nine under for the tournament.

The 34 year old’s seven at the par four 10th hole, however, left him in tied second place on six under entering the weekend while Delpodio carded a second successive three under par round of 69 to also move to two shots off the pace.

Adrien Bernadet, of France, Denmark's Joachim B Hansen, Englishman Ben Parker and Florian Praegant of Austria were all a shot further back in tied fifth place on five under par.