Gregory Bourdy (Getty Images)
A brilliant eight under par 64 gave France’s Grégory Bourdy a share of the clubhouse lead on day two of the BMW Italian Open presented by CartaSi.
The Frenchman carded eight birdies in a bogey-free round to join Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño at the top of the leaderboard on 11 under par.
"This morning it was perfect conditions to play on this course,” said Bourdy, who has recorded three top-20 finishes in his last four events.
"It was a lovely round and I enjoyed it a lot. I was very solid and I'm very proud. Almost everything went right today. Last week my driving was wonderful and so were my irons, and that continued today.
"For a few weeks now I've played very well and have made some good scores. I had an eight under par round in Crans-sur-Sierre and a six under at Gleneagles, and last week I finished eighth, so I feel very confident with my game.
"I'll try to the same at the weekend. Of course, I have to take it shot by shot, but I feel confident and calm and I'm going to try to make as many birdies as I did today."
Fernandez-Castaño also had eight birdies in his 65, but a bogey at the 15th prevented him claiming the outright lead.
The five-time European Tour winner admitted he was relieved to have the pressure of The Ryder Cup race over, having narrowly missed out on a place in José María Olazábal’s side.
"I've been playing nicely lately, even though the results haven't really shown that,” he said.
“I had the Ryder Cup pressure before, and I knew my game was there but I didn't play great. Going back to Hilversum [for the KLM Open], where I won in 2005, brought good feelings back. I didn't play well on Sunday but I know my game is in a good position.”
Swede Joakim Lagergren and in-form Spaniard Pablo Larrázabal carded rounds of 65 and 66 respectively to share third on nine under par, one ahead of overnight leader Joel Sjöholm, who was amongst the afternoon starters.
Meanwhile the good news just keeps on coming for Olazábal. Having seen Members of his European Team win six titles in the last month, the three Ryder Cup-bound players in action in Turin all performed well.
Martin Kaymer’s 66 took him to eight under - just three behind the leaders - while Francesco Molinari is only one stroke further back after a 69. Big-hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts compiled a 67 to advance to six under for the week, and a second straight 70 put Olazábal himself firmly on course to make the cut on four under.