Robinson still in pole position

JAMES Robinson will take a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Buildbase Open after following his course-record 63 with a two-under-par 70 in the second round of the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro event at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Abingdon.

Jack Colegate (Deangate Ridge Golf Club) shot a second-round 66 (-6) to move to within one of the leader, and Marcus Armitage (Howley Hall Golf Club) is nine under after carding a 67 for his second 18.

Four golfers are tied fourth on seven under, including Darren Wright (Rowlands Castle Golf Club), who signed for the day’s best round, an eight-under 64.

Robinson, from Southport & Ainsdale, won on the EuroPro at Slaley Hall in 2010, but as an amateur was unable to take home any money. He had been in great form on Wednesday, shooting a bogey-free 18 to card the best score the Blue Course had seen in professional competition.

However, he began the second round with a bogey at the first. He steadied with pars on two and three and returned to nine under for the tournament with a birdie at four. Par breakers at 13 and 15 took him two below the card and he saw the remainder of the back nine out to sign for 70.

“I played pretty well in the opening round,” said Robinson of his course-record 63 (-9). “I hit it great off the tee to get in good position on the fairways and was able to knock it close on the greens, which was really required because it was firm and bouncy. I hit my irons well and putted well, didn’t really miss much. It was a solid round.

“There was a bit of pressure on my second round because everybody had said what a good round Wednesday’s was but I stuck to my game plan and hit it well again.

“Unfortunately when I won on the EuroPro a few years ago I couldn’t get the money but it was a good experience to know I was good enough to compete and win at this level. It will be nice to win and be able to keep the £10,000 this time!

“I will be looking for more of the same in the final round. The weather won’t be too nice tomorrow so I will need to stick to what I am doing, don’t let anything interfere and take it one shot at a time.

“How much impact the weather has will depend on how it softens the course but we won’t know until we are here in the morning and can see what the weather is like. Whatever it is I will stick to my game plan and see what happens after those last 18 holes.”

The Buildbase Open carries a £40,000 prize fund with the winner receiving £10,000, which is crucial money to add to the Order of Merit from which the top five at the end of the season are rewarded with Challenge Tour categories for 2015.

The 54-hole strokeplay sees 168 of Europe’s best young golfers competing. A cut to the leading 50 players and ties has now been made, with all golfers whose 36-hole score is one under par or better proceeding to play Friday’s final round, which will be filmed for a two-hour highlights package to be broadcast on Sky Sports on July 8 and spectator entry is free throughout the week.

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