Mallow’s James Sugrue will enter the final round of the Alps Tour’s Abruzzo Alps Open just two strokes off the lead after a fine second day in Pescara, Italy.
The former Amateur champion backed up a 65 in round one with a three-under 67 in round two to sit eight-under-par, a couple of shots back of leaders Vince van Veen of the Netherlands and Italy’s Gregorio de Leo who are at 10-under-par.
Sugrue hasn’t quite hit the heights that he perhaps hoped since turning professional given his amateur reputation, however it is still early in his career and the 23-year-old is still learning his trade.
A win this week would certainly have him on the right track and he has positioned himself nicely with Thursday’s 67, and a big round tomorrow would give him a real chance at notching a first pro victory.
To do so, he will have to overcome both of Van Veen, who dazzled with eight birdies on his way to a seven-under 63 on day two, and De Leo, who went one shot better in the afternoon wave thanks to a bogey-free 62 to join him at 10-under-par.
“Today was a good day. My short game and putting were fundamental for today’s score,” said 22-year-old De Leo.
“I made five consecutive birdies and most of them thanks to my short game. I’ve worked a lot these past two weeks on that area of my game and I was happy to witness the results today of the hard work.”
The Netherlands’ Koen Kouwenaar, the first round leader, is still in the mix just a shot back at nine-under after a 68 in his second round, with Sugrue holding solo fourth at eight-under.
David Carey is also in for the final round after he backed up a 67 in round one with a 69 in round two to sit four-under-par, with Jonathan Yates, Conor Purcell and Gary Hurley all a shot further back at three-under.
The cut line fell at two-under-par, with Paul McBride (level), Simon Bryan (+3) and Michael Young (+9) all missing out.