Scott Barr stays confident at Omega European Masters

Crans Montana: Asian Tour member Scott Barr of Australia battled through the cold to sign for a one-over-par 72 but insisted that his chase for his maiden Tour win at the Omega European Masters is far from over.

The Singapore-based Australian marked his card with four bogeys against three birdies to return with a two-day total of four-under-par 138.

Despite taking a share of tied-13th place, five shots back of clubhouse French leader Julien Quesne, Barr remains optimistic of earning his career breakthrough at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club this week.

“If I can get through tomorrow and get into a position where I’ve got an opportunity on Sunday, I’m going to go for it. So that’s the goal,” said the 40-year-old Australian.

Barr, who had to endure several near-misses for a win throughout his career, is still seeking his long-awaited victory on Tour. He believed that he could have done better if the weather elements were more favourable.

“It was pretty tough as it was very cold. I didn’t hit the ball as well as I wanted to and I just hung in there and grinded it out,” said Barr of the persistent rain and day’s temperature which recorded a low of eight degrees Celsius.

Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg, who prefers to play under the warmer climate in Asia, was happy with his 67 especially after opening with a 72.

The 2010 Asian Tour Rookie of the Year was delighted that he was able to play above himself to stay six shots back of Quesne in equal 27th place.

“I was shocked with how I played as when I woke up this morning, it was freezing in my room and I was saying to myself we’ll see what happens. But I stayed positive and it worked,” said Karlberg.

“I felt really good with a 67. I messed up yesterday with too many thoughts in my head about my swing but today, I just kept it simple and I’m happy with the result,” added the two-time Asian Tour winner.

Meanwhile Korean-American rookie David Lipsky is hoping to step up his game when the weekend round gets underway following another round of 70.

“I haven’t played great yet as I’ve been sloppy in parts of the course and I definitely have to clean that up for the weekend. But overall I’m happy considering the difficult conditions I’ve been playing under,” said Lipsky, who is in tied-34th place on 140.

“I was pretty proud of myself for being able to grind it out and play decent golf. But the weather’s always changing and with the winds picking up, it was a lot colder than yesterday,” added the 24-year-old.

Lipsky is enjoying a memorable debut season on the Asian Tour where he topped the class at the Qualifying School in January and won his maiden title in Cambodia in March.

While he has enjoyed a good run, Lipsky knows that he needs another good result at the Omega European Masters to achieve his goal of winning the prestigious Order of Merit crown.

“The year has been great and obviously sitting fourth on the Order of Merit right now puts me in a good position. I’m just looking forward to keeping it going. Hopefully I’ll be at the top of the Order of Merit and that’s my goal,” said Lipsky.

Play at the Omega European Masters was abandoned due to poor visibility with six players yet to complete their rounds. It will resume at 7.45am local time on Saturday.

The weekend cut has been set at even-par and Barr will spearhead the Asian Tour challenge as the highest-placed Tour member.

Other notable Tour players who will feature over the weekend include Australia’s Scott Hend (141), American Berry Henson (141), India’s Jyoti Randhawa (141) and Singapore’s Mardan Mamat (142).

The Omega European Masters is the first event in Europe to be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour since 2009.

By Indian Sports News Network