Monday 29 May 2017

Sizzling 64 puts McGinley firmly in contention

Bernie McGuire

Seve Trophy captain Paul McGinley led by example with a sizzling 64 to finish within two shots of the lead at eight-under-par on day three of the KLM Open in Hilversum.

Despite a lift-clean-and-place rule still in effect, McGinley began with a bogey at the ninth but then played the outward nine of the Dutch course in seven-under-par courtesy of five birdies in succession before holing a 10-foot putt for eagle at the 18th or the 10th hole of his round.

But McGinley then double-bogeyed his 16th hole when his tee shot cannoned off one tree and deep into trouble.

However, the GB & I captain birdied his closing two holes with respective putts of 15 feet and 20 feet.

It is 44-year-old McGinley's lowest round since a 64 in the same Dutch event two years ago, as he also seeks to win for a first time since capturing the 2005 season-ending Volvo Masters.

"Being the Seve Trophy captain has given me a buzz this week, so today was just fun as this is my kind of golf course," said McGinley.

"I know, too, that if I had had more days like today in my career, it would have been some career, and I know now if I can putt like that again I have a chance tomorrow."

And as McGinley strives to become the third straight over 40-year-old Race to Dubai winner, he reminded everyone that the last time he won with 'Edinburgh Jimmy' Rae as caddie was in capturing the 1997 Oki Pro-Am in Austria.

"Edinburgh Jimmy was on the bag in Austria and I was eight shots back and I shot a 62 to win," said McGinley.

But while one Irish-born 'Mc' was delighting Dutch fans, it was reigning US Open champion Rory McIlroy they had flocked to the course to see.

However, there was no real excitement until the 11th hole where McIlroy seized a first birdie before carding a 68 to finish at seven-under par.

If McIlroy does win, he will unseat Germany's Martin Kaymer, who had earlier missed the cut by three, as world No 3.

Scotland's Gary Orr (66), looking for his first Tour success in 11 years, and South African James Kingston (66), head the field at 10-under par.

Orr, 44, playing on a medical exemption this year after suffering back trouble, is down in 187th place on this season's money list, but after his 66, he has a great opportunity to end worries about his future.

Sunday Indo Sport

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport