The wind that continues to ravage The PGAs of Europe International Team Championship on Portugal’s Algarve is proving anything but an ill one in terms of making the tournament competitive.
At the halfway stage of the event at the Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort almost a third of the 26-strong field harbours realistic hopes of claiming €6,000 first prize.
Five strokes span the leading eight teams after a second round during which, somewhat perversely, the wind was stronger than on the first day but individual scores improved.
As at the end of the opening circuit of the Alvor Course, Denmark occupy pole position but do so in isolation after Holland, their overnight cohabitants, faltered.
So much so that defending champions Scotland, Ireland and Sweden, who are all two strokes adrift of the Danes in second place, have climbed above them.
Greg McBain (74) was the Scots’ standard bearer, Cian McNamara (73) and Brendan McGovern (74) followed suit for Ireland, while Magnus Atevi (pictured right) proved Sweden’s ace with a one-under-par round of 71.
Atevi is just one of two players to defy to combination of a challenging course in excellent condition and the elements and post a sub-par round. The other is Germany’s Dennis Lohrmann (pictured below) who, curiously, was in the same three-ball as the Swede.
There, though, and aside from their final score, the similarities ended. The German enjoyed a high-octane outward half, posting four birdies and just one bogey. Two birdies followed on the way home but were spoiled by a double and two single bogeys.
By contrast, Atevi made less spectacular but equally effective progress with a brace of birdies in each half, successes compromised by a single bogey in the front nine and another two during the inward half.
Meanwhile, the Danes were indebted to Martin Hansen for maintaining their hold on first place in the event, which is supported by Glenmuir, the Associaçäo Turismo do Algarve and Ryder Cup European Development Trust.
Hansen posted a level par round of 72 as did Lee Rooke of Wales and Portugal’s Hugo Santos.
Rooke, winner of the Asbri-sponsored Welsh National PGA Championship in October, and Jon Bevan (74) were instrumental in Wales joining the French in sixth place, four shots off the pace.
However, Santos, twice winner of the UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe, lacked a helping hand to light the blue touch paper and ignite Portugal’s challenge.
The 2013 Annual Congress & ITC are supported by Glenmuir, the Associação Turismo do Algarve, Hotel Vila Galé Lagos, Onyria Palmares Beach and Golf Resort, and the European Ryder Cup Development Trust. For more information on our partners, visit http://eur.pe/1aaFFgx.