SOTOGRANDE, Spain — At the European Nations Tournament, Ireland held a four-shot lead after the first round over rival England playing in tough conditions at Real Golf de Sotogrande in Spain. But as round two has concluded, England has surged ahead to lead by five at the tournament's halfway point.
The annual competition pins competing European countries against one another for the right to hoist the Sotogrande Cup.
England carded two rounds of 72 and a 74 in the second round, and now lead the team event by five shots over France, six over Spain, and 11 over first-round leaders Ireland. Ashley Chesters and Nick Marsh posted 72 the second round, while Paul Howard added a 74. Howard is fresh off a big win at the New South Wales Amateur in Australia.
The Irish were led by Jack Hume and Gavin Moynihan in round one, who both shot 75. But the two combined for 155 on day two and will have some ground to make up heading into the final two rounds.
Leading the individual race is Mario Galiano of Spain at 144 with Robbie Van West of the Netherlands four shots behind him. Both players carded the lowest rounds of round two, 70. Marcus Kinhult of Sweden sits in third place at 149.
This 72-hole stroke play event ends Saturday. 16 teams with four players each are competing.