McNamara's Houdini act sees off Finn
Rory McNamara produced a Houdini act to edge into the third round of the 117th Amateur Championship at Troon yesterday.
The 23-year-old plus-three handicapper from Headfort seemed to be heading for the exit when he lost the first three holes to Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen.
And the former Irish boys and youths international was still three behind after seven holes, but he won the next two with birdies and then took the 10th to square the match.
Birdies at 11 and 13 put McNamara two up. He lost the 17th, but closed out in style when he put his second on the 18th to within four feet of the pin.
McNamara, who plays golf full-time -- spending his winters in Spain and summers in Ireland -- now plays German Stephan Jaeger, one of 22 overseas golfers in the last 32 of this competition the winner of which gains entry to the British Open,US Masters and US Open.
Kevin Phelan, who plays out of Waterford Castle, but lives in Florida, was impressive in overcoming American Kramer Hickok by 4&3. He now faces Australian Nathan Holman.
Alan Dunbar had his work cut out to see off Spaniard Borja Virto, while Dubliner Richard O'Donovan put up a tremendous battle before going down 2&1 to Nathan Kimsey.