Team Germany is on course to win the International Team Championship for the first time after establishing a three-stroke lead at the tournament’s halfway stage.
Having begun the second round at Gloria Golf Club in the Turkish resort of Belek four shots off the pace, the German trio had turned the leaderboard on its head by the end of the day, largely due to a tour de force display by Dennis Küpper.
While his team-mates Florian Jahn and Christopher Godson posted scores of level par (72) and one-over respectively, Küpper took Gloria’s New Course to task.
Küpper had served notice on day one that he was in good form with a three-under-par round of 69.
What followed, however, suggested he was only warming up. The 31-year-old from Krefeld arrived at the par-five 18th hole on seven-under and then signed off with an eagle for a bogey-free round of 63 (-9).
Reflecting on his round, Küpper said: “I haven’t shot that low in a very long time. I don’t know how that happened – I holed a lot of putts and the greens are perfect. Scores like this happen somehow!”
All of which meant Team Germany ended the day on 13-under (275) with overnight leaders Ireland on 10-under and charged with playing catch-up.
Not that a three-stroke deficit is impossible, especially at the halfway point of a tournament in which the best two scores from the three count.
“I’m dead pleased,” said Team Ireland’s Damian Mooney, who followed up his opening round of five-under with one of two-under.
“As a team we’re having fun and are in the top five, so we’ve done a job so far and are happy.”
Michael McDermott also contributed to Team Ireland’s score with a round of one-under while Eamonn Brady, the third member of the trio, joked: “The plan this week was the other two lads to play really well. It’s working out so far so good. I’m happy with the plan so far.”
Ireland lie a shot clear of England after Paul Hendriksen and former European Tour player, Andrew Raitt, posted scores of four and three-under respectively to account for the trio’s second round return of seven-under.
Whilst Germany have secured top spot on the leaderboard, the four Great Britain & Ireland teams represented at the Championship have made their cases for the title chase.
Scotland are on eight-under (280) and Wales, for whom Stuart Runcie posted the day’s second best round of five-under (67), are a shot behind.
The PGA of Holland and PGA of Finland, meanwhile, are the only other trios under par, while defending champions Turkey are on track to retain the International Shield in the tournament within a tournament.
The Shield event is for teams representing a PGA with 100 members or fewer and Turkey, having begun the day two shots shy of the PGA of Russia, have established a seven stroke advantage. Poland, nine shots further back, lie third.
PGA of Germany (-13); PGA in Ireland (-10); PGA in England (-9); PGA in Scotland (-8); PGA in Wales (-6); PGA of Holland (-2); PGA of Finland (-1)
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