Sunday 19 February 2017

'Aggressive' Hoey goes low in pursuit of Cabrera-Bello

Phil Casey

Published 27/06/2015 | 02:30

Michael Hoey plays a shot during the BMW International Open at the Eichenried Golf Club in Munich yesterday
Michael Hoey plays a shot during the BMW International Open at the Eichenried Golf Club in Munich yesterday

Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello believes he has learnt from his mistakes as he looks to turn another promising position into victory in the BMW International Open.

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Cabrera-Bello added a second round of 67 to his opening 65 at Munich's Eichenried Golf Club to claim the halfway lead on 12-under par, one shot ahead of England's James Morrison, with Michael Hoey moving into contention to lie two shots off the lead after he equalled the day's lowest score with a 65.

Cabrera-Bello, 31, has finished fourth, 13th and second in his last three events on the European Tour, but bogeyed the 72nd hole in the Irish Open to miss out on a play-off and could only manage a closing 72 when entering the final round of the Lyoness Open just two off the lead.

"On some occasions I have been a little unfortunate, other occasions the competition is very hard and other people have just outplayed me - other times I have made some mistakes which I have learned from," he said.

Starting from the 10th, Cabrera-Bello picked up shots on the 12th, 13th and 16th and also chipped in for an unlikely birdie on the 18th after finding water with his approach to the par five.

The two-time European Tour winner also birdied the first and second but could not find any more on the closing stretch and dropped his only shot of the day on the eighth after failing to save par from a greenside bunker.

"I am pleased with the score but I do feel like it could have been a little better, especially after being 13 under with seven holes to play," added Cabrera-Bello, whose last win came in the Dubai Desert Classic in 2012.

"I did not play so good the last few holes, made a few sloppy swings, but nothing really to worry about and I just take it that I got my chances early in the round and made the mistakes at the end. That's the way it goes sometimes.

"There are tons of great players here all trying to take the trophy home so I am going to try to keep playing aggressive. If it comes to the point where I need to play a little smarter I will try to do that."

Morrison birdied three of the last four holes to add a 66 to his opening 67 and believes his victory in the Spanish Open last month will stand him in good stead this weekend.

STRATEGY

Hoey and Denmark's Lasse Jensen are two shots off the lead as Hoey's aggressive strategy paid dividends.

"I knew the greens would be better today and I putted well," said Hoey. "There was an opportunity today to shoot seven-under and I did that.

"The cut has been six-under here before and although they have lengthened the course and it's tougher now, you have to score well no matter what. Someone is going to be 24-under so you have to be aggressive, which is quite good. It's quite enjoyable to go at it and get stuck in."

World No7 Henrik Stenson added a 71 to his opening 67 to lie six-under, but playing partner Martin Kaymer missed the cut after a costly bogey on the last, where his drive was deemed not to have crossed a water hazard following a lengthy discussion involving rules officials and on-course reporters, who were being fed information from television replays.

A fine 67 moved Peter Lawrie into the top 10 on seven-under, while Shane Lowry matched that score to lie on five-under alongside Kevin Phelan (71) at the halfway mark.

Darren Clarke and Damien McGrane also made the cut on the mark at three-under par.

In America, Bubba Watson leads the Travelers Championship but Padraig Harrington suffered another bad Friday, his five-over par 75 destroying his good work on Thursday when he posted a sparkling 66. Bogeys on his 16th and 17th holes yesterday proved costly for the Dubliner in his bid to make the cut.

No such trouble for Watson who followed up his opening 62 with a 67 last night for an 11-under par total.

BMW International Open Live, Sky Sports 4, 12.30pm

Travelers Championship Live, Sky Sports 4, 6.00pm

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