Bob MacIntyre opens four-shot lead in Hamburg as Paul Casey slips
As he opened up a commanding lead at the halfway stage in Hamburg bob MacIntyre discovered an additional gear.
After leader Paul Casey struggled to a 73 in early states at the Green Eagle Golf Club, despite making only 1 birdie MacIntyre took good great advantage of this day weather that was more friendly and terminated a great 63.
The Scot stormed to the peak of the leaderboard on 11-under level, four clear of Bernd Ritthammer, while Casey is off the pace because he continued to fight a challenging layout in addition to a throat disease.
MacIntyre has had a rookie year on the Tour, with back-to-back runner-up finishes in May along with a tie for sixth in The 148th Open at Royal Portrush, and he is currently in prime place to land his maiden victory.
The talented left-hander’s scorecard featured a remarkable 11 threes – six of them for birdie, and although he was unable to pick up shots in the long 15th or 16th, he hit the final green in 2 and easily two-putted for his seventh birdie of the day.
“I just stuck to my game plan,” stated the written 23-year-old. “It’s probably the best I’ve driven a chunk – maybe this season. It’s not just going it’s going miles. I really don’t know what I am doing so I’m only going to attempt to continue to do it, but it’s working.
“I can only control what I can control and that’s swinging the golf club for every individual shooter. That is all I’m going to do over the weekend also and hopefully I can keep the scores coming. Especially when it’s my very first time with a lead it’s going to be tough.
“I will need to learn from this adventure, I am just doing the correct things on the course, doing the perfect things off the course. I’m relaxed and nice and everything at home’s been brilliant so I’m in the right mindset for moving out there this weekend”
Ritthammer gave the home fans plenty to cheer late in the day when he birdied three of the final four holes to cover a blemish-free 66 which increased him under and alone in 2nd position, with Casey alongside Matthias Schwab and Guido Migliozzi on five under.
Casey dropped shots at 14 and 13 and began with a bogey, before rebounding back at the fifth with a nice two from another bogey at the next, but he regrouped and clawed at two shots back at 15 and 18.
He missed a chance to get back to level for the afternoon at the ninth, but he was delighted with his fightback although he was happy about the setup of the course.
“I am really very pleased with one over because it is such a difficult golf course,” Casey said. “Attitude is the key, ” I had a great attitude and fortunately there were choices to produce birdies if you stick with it, however it is very hard.
“Not every course should be simple every week, but if it had been me I’d move up the temptations here since you’re bringing in far more attention into how this program is performed. Hazards would be more and I’d love to see guys going to it a little more. Right now it is very, very difficult, virtually sort of defensive, that is not that enjoyable.”
Xander Schauffele, the highest-ranked player in the field this week, produced a spirited response to his opening 73 as he shot into red numbers with a four-birdie 69 that lifted the entire world No 9 to 2 beneath alongside Thomas Pieters, who discovered water in the final and ran a seven up to register to get a disappointing 72.
Former Masters champion Patrick Reed was two over for the tournament and staring in a cut over after five holes, however, he dug deep to salvage a 72 which got him firmly into the weekend to two-over par.
But his fellow American Matt Kuchar will fly home early.