Robert MacIntyre fired a fine six-under par 65 to set the early pace at the 2020 Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown on Thursday.
The course suits my eye. Visually there are certain shots that, if it was a different sort of wind, I wouldn’t like them, but with the normal wind direction it suits my eye. I’m rolling the putter great. The new irons are brilliant. I’m hitting numbers.Robert MacIntyre
The Scot who finished tied for third on the same layout at last week’s Cyprus Open carried his strong form forward rolling in six unanswered birdies in a flawless round to move one clear of the field.
Closest challengers at five-under include Belgium’s Thomas Detry, Jamie Donaldson from Wales, Swedes Rikard Karlberg and Joakim Lagergren, France’s Romain Langasque, Finland’s Sami Valimaki and Ashun Wu of China.
In a new format for the European Tour, the top 32 and ties after the second round will progress to Saturday, with scores reset. Another cut will then be made of the top-16 and ties for Sunday’s final day showdown.
“I’m delighted,” said MacIntyre, who won the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award last year. “Again, I played great golf. A few mishits off the tee, but it’s one of those golf courses where I can open my shoulders a little bit more and give it a little bit extra. I missed a few putts that were still shaving the edges of holes but overall it was a good round of golf.
“The course suits my eye. Visually there are certain shots that, if it was a different sort of wind, I wouldn’t like them, but with the normal wind direction it suits my eye. I’m rolling the putter great. The new irons are brilliant. I’m hitting numbers.
“I’m trying to lead every round of golf that I play – and I’m leading after today. Hopefully lead after tomorrow and once it’s back to level, again you want to win every day. That’s my approach this week. It’s going to be an interesting day tomorrow with the weather coming in. I’ll just take it a day at a time.”