Cabrera Two Clear in Milan
Argentina’s Angel Cabrera opened up a two-stroke advantage in the 61st Telecom Italia Open after a stunning 63 in the weather-delayed second round at Castello di Tolcinasco Golf and Country Club took him clear of Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.
Cabrera, playing his first event of the year in Europe after spending the early part of the season at home in South America before competing in four events on the US PGA Tour, picked up seven birdies and an eagle to set the early target with half the field still to complete their second rounds following earlier weather disruptions.
No play was possible at all on Friday with torrential rain leaving much of the course waterlogged and play was further delayed for three and a half hours this morning as the greenkeeping staff worked to get the course, particularly the bunkers playable. Play was further disrupted in mid-afternoon as a thunderstorm passed overhead leaving officials with no choice but to reduce the tournament to 54 holes.
The second round will therefore resume at 7.30am local time (05.30 GMT) with the third and final round not starting before 11.15am (09.15 GMT), with a two tee start in operation.
Cabrera was one of those to finish the second round although he had to wait an hour to attempt an eagle putt from six feet on his final hole, the ninth, which he subsequently missed. His 63, which didn’t count as a course record with the preferred lies in operation, included an eagle and seven birdies still put him in the driving seat as he chases his third European Tour title.
“It was a very good round,” said Cabrera. “I hope it continues tomorrow. I had a putt from six feet on the last for eagle when play was suspended but unfortunately missed it when we came back out. But overall it was a good round and I think it was an advantage being a big hitter after all the rain. Tomorrow, see what happens.”
Carbrera leads by two from McDowell after the Ulsterman posted a flawless six under par 66 to move to 12 under par 132. McDowell has worked hard to put a team in place including his trainer Adam Griffen, coach Claude Harmon and his father Butch, and mental coach Carl Morris, and management team of International Sports Management and McDowell now feels he has all the pieces in place to take his game forward.
“This is the first time I have ever felt this good about my game,” said the 2002 Scandinavian Masters Champion. “I am playing as well now as I ever have in my life. Worked hard on my short game and this year it feels where it needs to be to compete on this level. It would have been easy to think I was on the wrong path but knew I was in the right direction and I have been playing well now for weeks.
“I have a good team in place now. It is great to have guys on the other end of the phone who you can call up and instantly have positive reinforcement for the stuff we have been working on and direction and guidance. I have known for the last four or five months that I am on the right path and it is good to see results coming.”
Frenchman Gregory Havret, the 2001 champion, England’s Mark Roe and Germany’s Marcel Siem, winner of the dunhill championship in South Africa earlier this season, are a further shot back on 11 under while tournament favourite Ian Poulter of England, bidding to win the title for a third time in five years, fired a six under par 66 to move to ten under par and just four strokes off the lead.
Courtesy of www.europeantour.com