European Amateur: Italy's Pietro Bovari takes the 36-hole lead
Pietro Bovari (European G.A. photo)
Pietro Bovari (European G.A. photo)

At the tournament's halfway point, Pietro Bovari of Italy leads the European Amateur Championship.

The prestigious title, which comes not just with a trophy, but a berth in the Open Championship at St. Andrews, is being contested at Parador El Saler in Spain.

Bovari's compatriot Filippo Celli held a three-shot lead after a stunning 64 (-8) in Wednesday's opening round. But Celli slipped to a 74 today, and Bovari took over.

A bogey-free round of 66 (-6) in windy conditions, with birdies on the opening and closing holes, moved Bovari from 1-under 7-under, and into the solo lead.

Bovari, from Milan, plays collegiately at Virginia (junior) where he recorded a runner-up finish this year at the Daniel Island Collegiate. He also finished 16th in the prestigious Jones Cup Invitational at Sea Island, Georgia.

Round one leader Filippo Celli sits alone in second place, one shot behind.

Jack Ingham will join the Italian duo Celli and Bovari in the final grouping on Friday. The Dutch player carded a 3-under-par 69 today to move a whopping 16 spots up the leaderboard and into third place at 5-under.

Honk Kong's Taichi Kho posted even par on Thursday, and stands shots behind Bovari on -4. Seven players currently sit in a tie for 5th place on three-under-par. The group includes former Jacques L├ęglise Trophy player, Daniel Rodrigues of Portugal.

Javier Barcos Garbayo paced the 15 golfers representing the host country Spain. Garbayo is four back of the lead after a 3-under 69 on Thursday.

Results: European Amateur
1ItalyFilippo CelliItaly120064-74-73-69=280
2DenmarkRasmus Neergaard-PetersenDenmark90067-77-70-67=281
3ScotlandCalum ScottScotland70071-70-73-68=282
4SpainJavier BarcosSpain70072-69-71-71=283
T5SpainJorge Siyuan HaoSpain70068-75-74-67=284

View full results for European Amateur

ABOUT THE European Amateur

The premier championship in Europe, conducted by the European Golf Association, which is comprised of 38 member countries. 72 hole stroke play format. After 54 holes the field is cut to the leading 60 players and ties. The winner earns a spot in the British Open.

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