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Lopes, Wilson and Kimsey share second round lead in Portugal

Lopes, Wilson and Kimsey share second round lead in Portugal

Vitor Lopes was pleased with his recovery on Saturday morning as he retained a share of the second round lead with Andrew Wilson and Nathan Kimsey at the weather affected Open de Portugal.

Vitor Lopes Open de Portugal

Lopes, who had completed just three holes on Friday before high winds delayed play at Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort, carded six birdies and two bogeys over the remainder of his round for a one under par 71.

The Portuguese player, who held a two-shot lead after the opening day, was pleased with the way he kept his emotions under control among the changing conditions and the long wait to restart.

“Kept my emotions quite well,” reflected Lopes, who birdied his final hole of the day to earn a share of the lead with the English duo of Wilson and Kimsey.

“I had to catch up from the lost shots on the previous day with the hurricane we got here. I had a bad bounce for two bogies on the back nine but I feel good with the birdie on the last hole and that puts me in the lead.

“It was tough sitting down, you don't know what to expect, but we are doing our job, we are here to play, and that's what I did.

“It's so tough when the wind is inconsistent. Sometimes you have big breezes and you don't know if you can count on the wind or not. I think I did a good job today.”

The Alps Tour player, who skipped two events to take up National Spots at both the Portugal Masters and this week’s Open de Portugal, said he was hopeful his good form could continue at home.

“It feels awesome (to play at home). It's good to have Portuguese guys supporting me. Hopefully I can make them happy on Sunday.”

Lopes matched the eight under par clubhouse target set by Wilson, who followed up a first round 69 with a five under 67 on day two.

It was a score that could have been one better if not for a three putt at the last, but Wilson was keen to look at the positives after struggling on the range ahead of the day’s play.

“I played really nicely there - a bit annoyed to three-putt the last, but played really solid today,” said Wilson, who finished in for third place at last week’s Northern Ireland Open on the European Challenge Tour.

“Just really nice to be in with a chance.

“I found it quite hard today. I wasn't really tired last night, didn't really do much. Wasn't really feeling it on the range, hit a few tops, just wanted to get on the tee. Played nice.

“I sort of freewheel it most of the time and see what happens, but I've been playing really good the last few weeks. Not really too surprised to have shot some good scores.

“Gameplan will just be more of the same, try to keep hitting good shots, hole a few putts and see where I am at the end of the day.”

They were later joined by Kimsey, who finished with back-to-back birdies to equal Wilson’s five under total.

Jamie Donaldson also carded a second round 67 to sit one shot behind the leaders, while Portugal’s Pep Angles recorded the lowest round of the day – a six under par 66 - to finish the day in a four way tie for at six under.

Portugal Masters Champion George Coetzee briefly held a share of the lead but dropped three shots over his closing four holes to sit three behind the leaders going into the third round.

Round three will be a two-tee start, no earlier than 16.45.

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