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Canter keen to keep going low after retaining lead

Canter keen to keep going low after retaining lead

Laurie Canter insists he will need to keep the birdies coming if he is to convert his halfway lead at the 2020 Italian Open into a maiden European Tour title.

Laurie Canter

The 30-year-old, who came through Qualifying School for the fourth time in five years last November, added a second round 68 to his spectacular opening 60 at Chervó Golf Club.

At 16 under he leads by two from compatriot Ross McGowan, with South Africa's Dean Burmester two shots further back in third.

However, Canter insists he will need to go low again if he is to maintain his advantage.

“More of the same, definitely tomorrow,” he said. “You can't take your foot off around here, the scoring is going to be good, a lot of good players behind.

“I've got to go out and do what I'm doing and hopefully give myself a chance on Sunday.”

Play was delayed by 20 minutes due to bad visibility in the morning and, while conditions remained misty throughout the day in Brescia, Canter was able to get off to a flying start.

He fired to six feet at the second to set up a birdie and converted form ten and five feet at the next two holes to complete a hat-trick of gains.

Another birdie at the ninth looked like setting up Canter to establish a commanding lead, but after a poor tee shot at the 11th led to a bogey, he lost some momentum with six straight pars before birdieing the last.

“I started off really nicely, picked up where I left off,” said Canter. “Got myself three under early and a couple more chances, so the front nine was really good.

“Made a bit of a poor swing up 11 and ended up making a bogey there, which obviously on a par five round here you usually get a great chance to make birdie so that set me back a bit.

“I hung in there, I didn't play my best on the back nine there, so level par and four under is a good effort.”

McGowan reeled off eight birdies in a flawless 64 as he looks to rediscover the form that saw him finish 12th on the Race to Dubai in 2009.

“The putter has been pretty hot,” he said. “The greens are good and the ball is going in, which is a good start. My driving hasn't been great - it's not a course that emphasises that - but I’m going to try and improve that for the weekend.”

Denmark's Joachim B. Hansen sits fourth on 11 under, with last week's winner Adrian Otaegui and France's Robin Roussel a shot further back in a tie for fifth.

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