Bob MacIntyre achieves first 'goal' in Cyprus Showdown
It was mission accomplished for Bob MacIntyre despite losing his overnight lead in the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown at the Paphos venue.
The 24-year-old from Oban had started the second-round with a one-shot cushion after a bogey-free six-under-par 65 in his opening circuit.
He carded an eagle and four birdies on day two but also dropped three shots as the left-hander added a 68 to sit on nine-under.
That left him sitting joint-ninth when play was suspended for the day due to fading light following a weather delay and safely through to the third round in an event featuring a new format on the European Tour.
The top 32 and ties after 36 holes progress to that third circuit then top 16 and ties to Sunday's final round, with the scores being reset on each occasion.
"Top 32 was my goal," said MacIntyre, who tied for third in the Cyprus Open on the same course last weekend. "It’s now knockout, it doesn’t really matter. You can go and win tomorrow but it doesn’t mean a thing.
"You can finish 16th and you’ve got as much of a chance to get it finished as first. Just go out there, play golf and see how low I can shoot."
MacIntyre opened his second round with a bogey after a "lapse of concentration" before picking up an eagle and four birdies in a burst around the turn.
Having earlier dropped a shot at the par-3 seventh, he did likewise at the 12th before parring in, seeing a birdie attempt lip out at the last.
"Again I played great, I just didn’t hole many putts – the same story as every day," said last season's European Tour Rookie of the Year. "Lots and lots of lip-outs, but I’m saving them for the weekend.
"I’m enjoying myself. I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow with a real awareness of what’s going on.
"When you’re swinging with freedom, the way I am, and as confident as I am, who knows. Try and get in with a good score tomorrow and Sunday will be a free-for-all."
MacIntyre is set to be the only Scot still standing once the second round is completed on Saturday morning after a disappointing day for his compatriots.
Grant Forrest was also on course to progress after he went out in 34 to sit on five-under only for the delay due to a lighting threat seeming to do him favours.
The 27-year-old ran up a double-bogey 6 at the tenth after the resumption before dropping six shots in four holes to come home in 41. A resultant 75 left him on one-over.
With the cut projected to fall at six-under, Connor Syme came closest of the other Scots to make it through after a 68 left him on four-under.
Richie Ramsay (68), Calum Hill (68), David Drysdale (69) and Ewen Ferguson (69) all ended up on three-under.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson, who clinched the winning point in the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, holds the lead on 12-under par with three holes to complete on Saturday morning.
He's chasing a clubhouse target of 11-under, set by England's James Morrison after he carded a brilliant 63 before being matched by American Johannes Veerman with a 64.
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