Scotland’s impressive European Tour rookie, Robert MacIntyre, has taken the lead at the halfway stage of the Porsche European Open in Hamburg, the 23 year old’s round of 65 today moving him four shots clear of the field.

McIntyre has yet to win on the European Tour but he has been twice runner-up this year and gained a lot of further admirers for his 6th place finish at the Open Championship six weeks ago.

Four shots behind is Germany’s Bernd Ritthammer, who delighted the home crowds with a six under par round of 66 to reach a seven under par total. He is two strokes ahead of the trio of first round leader, Paul Casey, Guido Migliozzi and Matthias Schwab.

It’s probably the best I’ve driven the ball this year,” said MacIntyre. “It’s not just going straight, it’s going miles. I don’t know what I’m doing but it’s working, and I’ll try and continue to do it.

“I’ve changed quite a few things over the season to improve. Dave, my coach, is on the bag this week, he’s doing a great job off the course when I’m at home and doing the right things. It’s great to see the reward.

“It’s going to be tough, especially when it’s the first time that I’ve got such a lead – whether on the Challenge Tour or here on the European Tour – I’ll have to learn from this experience. I’m doing the right things on the course and the right things off the course, I’m nice and relaxed. Everything at home has been brilliant, so I’m in the right mindset for going out this weekend.”

Casey may yet be the man to beat, however, recovering from a slow start to his day to be round in 73 and although six behind the leader is well enough placed to better his 7th place in the event last year.

The Australians are led by tournament invite, Harrison Endycott, who has been playing in South America for much of this year. The Sydney golfer double-bogeyed his final hole today but he is in a share of 20th place at 1 under and ten shots from McIntyre’s lead.

Lucas Herbert and Scott Hend are at even par, Minwoo Lee at 1 over, Jake McLeod and Dimi Papdatos at 2 over and Adam Bland and New Zealander Ryan Fox just making the weekend field at 3 over.

Harrison Endycott – file – courtesy of Golf NSW

Top photo Robert McIntyre – Getty Images