Hoey team goes extra mile to impress in Morocco
Michael Hoey thanked his wife for coming to the rescue then roared into contention for his first win for five years at the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco.
Hoey's clubs did not arrive in Rabat earlier this week but his wife and manager Bev went more than the extra mile to help him, taking two flights and a taxi from Belfast to Rabat to bring him replacements.
After jetting from Belfast to London to pick up clubs from his manufacturer, she flew on to Casablanca before covering the last 90km to Royal Golf Dar Es Salam by taxi.
As a result, 2012 Hassan Trophy winner Hoey (39) carded a three-under 69 to share seventh place, just two strokes behind Wales' Bradley Dredge and Spain's Alvaro Quiros.
Taking to Twitter on the eve of the tournament, Hoey (right) wrote: "Today my Mrs flew from Belfast to London, drove to @TitleistEurope picked up clubs, drove to Heathrow, flew Royal Air Maroc to Casablanca, picked up more clubs & taxied it to Rabat just so I could play. That's commitment! Legend."
Dredge and Quiros shot 67s to lead by a stroke from Oliver Fisher, Joakim Lagergren, Erik van Rooyen and Lorenzo Gagli on four-under par with Hoey just a shot further back.
Greystones' Paul Dunne is just a shot inside the projected cut after struggling at times to card a one-over 73, while Gavin Moynihan's 77 leaves him in danger of a ninth successive missed cut since he won his card.
On the PGA Tour, Seamus Power was one of the later starters as Graeme McDowell posted a rollercoaster 72 to lie five strokes behind clubhouse leader Grayson Murray in the Valero Texas Open.
Murray made seven birdies in a 67 to lead by a stroke from Chesson Hadley on five-under with McDowell on level after he mixed five birdies with five bogeys at TPC San Antonio.
Out in two-over after following a long-range birdie two at the third with three bogeys in four holes from the sixth, the Portrush man moved into the red with birdies at the 11th, 12th and 14th.
Poor tee shots led to bogeys at the 16th and 17th but he finished in style, rolling in a 23-footer from the fringe at the par-five 18th for a birdie four.
In amateur golf, Ireland slipped 21 strokes behind runaway leaders England at halfway in the European Nations Championship in Spain.
Gian Marco Petrozzi shot 71 to lead by two strokes from compatriot Todd Clements on four-under-par and with Matthew Jordan tied for fourth, England leads the team standings comfortably on six-under par from Ireland and France.
Gusting winds and fiery conditions made for a tough day for Ireland's quartet with Castle's Alex Gleeson carding a 74 to lie 15th on six-over.
Trophee Hassan II: Live, Sky Sports Golf, 11.30am
Valero Texas Open: Live, Sky Sports Golf, 8.30pm