Todd Hamilton’s switch pays off

Todd Hamilton’s decision to join the European Tour could, this weekend, bring him his first win since the 2004 Open.

American Todd Hamilton’s decision to join the European Tour could, this weekend, bring him his first victory since the 2004 Open Championship.
The 44-year-old, now down at 545th in the world and with only two cuts made in his last 19 events, is just a stroke behind Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and Indian Shiv Kapur at the halfway stage of the KLM Open at Hilversum.
Hamilton, seven under par after rounds of 66 and 67, said: “I don’t have full status on the US Tour any more, so I looked at the schedule and thought I’d come to places I’ve never been to.
“When I got here it wasn’t the type of course I enjoy playing. You need to drive well and I haven’t been doing that as well as I would have liked.
“I thought I’d struggle, but a lot of times whatever you think is going to happen doesn’t happen.
“I didn’t hit a lot of fairways, but it seemed like I always had a good angle to the flag and everything worked out.”
Colsaerts had opened the event with a career-low 62, but was only able to add a level-par 70 in Fridays second round.
Losing a ball in the heather at the 476-yard sixth – his 15th – cost the 27-year-old a double-bogey six and he finished with another dropped shot.
Kapur, seeking his first victory on the circuit, managed only three birdies compared to six and an eagle in his first-round 64, but he had only bogey – at the short 15th -and so was able to hand in a respectable 68.
Clear favourite for the title is German Martin Kaymer, who in his first tournament since winning the US PGA title four weeks ago, has started with two 67s to be just two off the pace.
Like most of the field he had trouble making anything on the soft greens and commented: “I think it was a little mistake that we played the pro-am on Wednesday – I think they could have saved themn (the greens) for the tournament.”
Ryder Cup team-mates Ross Fisher and Francesco Molinari are seven back after rounds of 71 and 74 respectively
Fisher, who had been in joint fourth spot overnight, bogeyed four of his first six holes, took six at the long 12th and had to wait until the final green for his one and only birdie.