Richard Bland /Getty Images
Richard Bland birdied the last three holes of his second round to put himself into the halfway lead at the BMW Italian Open at Royal Park I Roveri in Turin. Richard is unfortunately yet to win on The European Tour despite ten years of trying, he now has a fantastic chance to break his duck here at the BMW Italian Open after a -6 under par second round of 66 took him to -12 under par in the tournament. Apart from trying to secure a first title, Richard is also in need of a good week to retain his place on The European Tour for 2013. He currently lies 126th on The Race to Dubai, and only the top 115 keep their cards. Richard commented;
” I’ve had a tough couple of years, but that’s behind me now and I’m just trying to move forward and improve every day. When it wasn’t going my way on the front nine, I didn’t panic. I knew there were chances out there and it was just a question of waiting. I don’t go for the panic button which I might’ve done five or six years ago. There’s still 36 holes to go, all it is right now is a great position. There are great players behind me, its low scoring, so two 70s isn’t going to get it done. I’ll probably have to shoot ten under from here, but that’s a good thing. You’ve got to keep making birdies, you have to keep your foot on the accelerator. It was a strange day because I birdied the first then struggled to get anything going, I missed a couple of chances and struggled to get the pace of the greens.
” But I holed a nice putt at the 14th for birdie, then hit a couple of shots really close at the 16th and 17th, then hit two great shots at the 18th. It all happened at once really. You’d expect in a 66 that you’d hit a lot of really good shots, but I’m hitting a lot of okay shots. I’m not putting myself in any problems, which is great, but on this course you have a lot of short irons and you feel like you should be hitting it close all the time. I’m leading and I’m not going to complain, but I feel there’s a lot of room of improvement. When you don’t feel like you’ve got your A-game and you’re 12 under and leading, it’s fantastic. If I can get my swing clicked into place, it should be a good weekend.”
There are four players in second place at -11 under par, and just one shot behind the leader, they are; Grégory Bourdy, Gonzalo Fernandez–Castano, Garth Mulroy and Marc Warren.
Fernandez-Castaño admitted the advice of Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal had helped his putting in a round of 65.
” Olly helped me with my putting two years ago, when he recommended that I putt with my feet together. Last year I had another tip from a fellow Spaniard, telling me to use the claw grip, and it has made a massive difference. I’ve been working with psychologists too, but it’s not until you see the ball rolling into the hole on a regular basis that your confident levels go up and you believe you can putt.”
Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal made the cut on the mark at four under, as did defending champion Robert Rock.