Wednesday 11 December 2019

McGrane and Phelan recover after dismal start

Damien McGrane
Damien McGrane

GRITTY veteran Damien McGrane (42) and rugged rookie Kevin Phelan (23), showed the right stuff during two gruelling days at the NH Collection Open.

Both Irishmen opened this tournament with a triple-bogey seven at the first as La Reserva de Sotogrande snarled in the wicked westerly wind that has turned this week's visit to the Costa into a true chiller.

Yet they kept their composure well, McGrane grinding out a 74 on Thursday and Phelan a 75, following up with hugely respectable sub-par efforts.

McGrane wrapped up a fine 69 to share seventh on one-under, four behind clubhouse leader Marc Warren, who shot 67. David Horsey was level with Warren after completing 15 holes of his second round in four-under when play ended.

At that point, Phelan was one-under through 13 holes of a well-crafted second round. Play resumes at first light as the tournament catches up after Thursday morning's lengthy rainstorm delay.

At two-over, Phelan was two inside the projected cut, while Simon Thornton recovered from a double-bogey at that first hole, his 10th yesterday, to sign for a 73 and ease into the final 36 holes on three-over.

David Higgins missed out on six-over after a 77 and Peter Lawrie was marooned on eight-over, though the Dubliner was a creditable two-under for the 12 holes he played in his second round.

Shane Lowry's 13-over aggregate for the opening 36 holes was his second-highest in five years as a pro. He had 36 putts in Thursday's 79 and 32 in yesterday's 78.

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