Less than a year after quitting his career as a full-time professional tour golfer Sweden’s Peter Gustafsson will take a hefty five shot lead into the final round of the Invitational Pro Am in Portugal.
The 40-year-old from Orust Island, 100km north of Stockholm, shot a second round 64 over the South Course at Quinta do Lago.
When added to his opening 65 at Laranjal, he was in the outright lead at 15 under par (129) with the Portuguese first round leader, Tiago Rodrigues, back in second place as he could only follow his opening 62 with a level par 72.
Peter, who spent five years competing on the European Tour, admitted he was bit shocked to find himself in front:
“I decided to give up playing tournaments last year because I had run out of motivation because my game was so bad.
“I have been working for a company that organises golf trips but now I am trying to get back into it. I am going to go to the Web.com tour school in America and if that doesn’t work then I will try and qualify to play in Asia or South Africa next year.”
And given his form in Portugal his confidence in his game has grown as he chases The Invitational’s €8,200 winner’s cheque over Quinta do Lago’s North Course.
“My game feels in pretty good shape. I have only made one bogey so far and that was a three putt, and in the second round I only missed one green in regulation with my approach shots.
“And overall my scores could have been even lower because I missed a few putts and felt I left a couple of shots out on the course.”
Given that much of the second round was played in rain shower, the scoring around the South Course, regarded as the toughest of the three hosting the PGAs of Europe Sanctioned Event, there were some impressive battles staged against the elements.
There was a 67 from another former European Tour man, Italy’s Emanuele Canonica, and 68s, from Scotland’s Graham Fox, who moved into third place but eight shots off the pace, and Spain’s Jose Manual Lara.
And the 50 amateurs in the field also made contributions. With his partner Goran Solak chipping in, Peter Gustafsson moved to a share of first place on the Pro-Am leaderboard as they signed for a better ball 62 for the second day running.
But they could not overhaul first round leaders, Alan Lovelace and Paul Faithfull from England, who followed their opening 59 with a 65.
More information on The Invitational Pro-Am 2016 is available at www.TheInvitational.eu.