Jonathan Yates bounced back from an opening day 75 with a superb five-under par 66 to move inside the top-20 at the Alps Tour’s Acaya Open.
The Naas professional fired two eagles in three holes and four other birdies along the way in a rousing effort that saw Yates move to within eight shots of the lead in a tie for 16th at one-under par.
Yates was joined by The Island’s Paul McBride as the only other Irish player to advance to Saturday’s final round after he carded a four-under par 67, a score that included just 31 strokes on the way home, as the Dubliner moved into a share of 36th at three-over par.
Peter Dallat (+11), Stephen Grant (+13) and Simon Bryan (+13) all missed the 36-hole cut that fell at four-over par.
At the head of affairs, 37-year old Italian, Gregory Molteni, is at -9 having carded a -7 (64) to move 9 places to the top of the leader board on day 2. Climatic conditions continued to challenge the players with strong winds and high temperatures, but neither they nor the difficulty of the course got in the way of Molteni. His scorecard showed par after par interrupted only by 2 eagles and 3 birdies for him to storm into the lead. Molteni was absolutely delighted about his performance:
“I can say it is one of the best rounds of my career, actually probably the best, considering these windy conditions on such a difficult course. I was happy yesterday with my 2 under, but today was really special, the wind was blowing in the opposite direction, from the North, which is considered more difficult.
“My best shot of the day? I think the second one on the 18th, it was particularly difficult, a 5 iron with lots of wind from left to right, and I hit it 1.5 metres from the hole and then I made the putt. I had other nice shots, but I will remember this one for a long time.”
Molteni started his professional career on the Alps Tour in 2006 collecting 7 top-threes (never a win, though) and is no longer a full-time tour player, having played in only two other Alps Tour tournament this season, Abruzzo Open in April and Memorial Giorgio Bordoni in May, but the motivation is still there as he explained:
“I still enjoy playing tournaments from time to time and being in the mix. Of course, I’m getting older and the new generation is very strong, but I can still be in contention. He also gave some insight into his course management at the Acaya Golf Club:
“This is not a course where you can be very aggressive, you need to stay patient, the course is hard and even more so with the wind. So maybe this could be my advantage against young players!”
Full Scoring HERE