Naas professional Jonathan Yates lost ground on the leaders but is not without hope ahead of the final round of this season’s Alps Tour finale in Italy.
The Kildare man was unable to repeat the flowing play of his opening day 67, returning a one-over par second round 73 that leaves him six adrift of the lead at four-under par. Lying eleventh in this year’s Order of Merit, Yates would need a win and results to go his way in order to force his way into the top-3 spots on the money table, thereby earning one of three Challenge Tour cards on offer for next season.
He shares eighth spot overnight with conditions forecast ideal for golf ahead of Friday’s final round. It continued to be a closely fought match at the top of the leaderboard with Italian player, Filippo Bergamaschi holding his lead at -10 (134) overall. With three birdies and a bogey going out and another birdie coming in, Bergamaschi had a 69 (-3) for the day compared to his 65 (-7) the day before:
“My game was pretty clean,” he reflected. “I probably didn’t play my best. Yesterday I played a lot better but today was pretty solid and I’m happy with the score. Tomorrow, I’ll try to do the same thing as today and yesterday. Try to keep it in play, hit the greens and hole some putts and just be very steady.”
But still hot on his heels is Jeong Weon Ko from France who kept his second place at -9 (135) albeit now shared with the Italian player, Jacopo Vecchi Fossa. Teeing off around twenty minutes after the leader, Ko opened with a birdie to draw level. However, a bogey on the third cancelled out the advantage and a birdie on the fourth hole for Bergamaschi saw him draw ahead again. Unfortunately, Ko did not repeat his bogey-free round of yesterday totalling two along with five birdies to finish with a 69 (-3).
The joint number two, Jacopo Vecchi Fossa was one of only two players to card the best score on Thursday, a 66 (-6), the other being Ryan Lumsden of Scotland lying 28th. Four birdies and an eagle with matching 33 (-3) on each nine. His eagle on the 14th hole par 5 was one of the four made on the course on Thursday and saw him climb two places on the leaderboard.
Full scoring HERE