Ricardo Santos leads the Pestana Gramacho IGT Open

On a warm but overcast day, Ricardo Santos shot a 1 under par 71 on day 2 to add to his opening round of 69, and take a 3 shot lead on 140 (-4) into the final round of the Pestana Gramacho IGT Open.

Ricardo leads a group of 3 players tied on 143 (-1) which includes the 1st round leader Damaso Carrera who scored a 75, his countryman Gonzalo Vicente who shot a 71, joined by Antonio Sobrinho after a 73. A further stroke back of this 3 way tie on 144, are another 3 players which include Moises Cobo, Daniel Silva and the leading amateur Noel Murray from Ireland and member of the Golf College Team from the University of Plymouth.

The top 10 is rounded out by 3 players – Alberto Dóniga Lara, Mark Davies and Mark Hooper – on a 1 over total of 145 with the winner likely to come from this group of 10 players. Amateur honor’s will be fought our between Murray, Adam Gouge and Henri Featherstone although good scores from these players could push them further up the professional field.

The leading players scores were generally slightly higher today due to some tighter pin placements which emphasized the ability to put the ball below the hole, leaving uphill putts and better opportunities for birdies, with players struggling to 2 putt when out of position and facing downhill putts.

After his round, Ricardo spoke in the press conference of the need to plan your shots into the flags, and how these early season tournaments are helping to improve his game in his bid to get a European Tour card after 2 years on the Challenge Tour.

“I am enjoying playing the IGT and taking these events seriously as I want to improve my ranking on the Challenge Tour and play much better in the 3 European Tour events that are held in Portugal – the Portuguese and Madeira Open in April, and the Portugal Masters in October. I feel that by competing and possibly being in contention more often will also help me get better. I played ok today with the tougher pins, but really missed quite a few very makeable putts, which I feel I will have to make tomorrow with the good players I have behind me.”

The Pestana Gramacho IGT Open final round is played tomorrow with the Pestana Silves IGT Challenge commencing on the Silves GC after a 2 day break which includes a rest and a practice day.