Friday 24 November 2017

Phelan finishes with flourish to stay in hunt

Kevin Phelan is sharing 14th position at the Nordea Masters on three-under. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images
Kevin Phelan is sharing 14th position at the Nordea Masters on three-under. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

Kevin Phelan leads the Irish brigade into the weekend at the Nordea Masters. A birdie four at nine, his last, sealed a second-round 70, lifting the Waterford native into a share of 14th on three-under.

Phelan has now made the cut five times in 11 outings in his rookie season and, judging by his share of sixth at the Tshwane Open in March, he's cool enough to take any chances that come his way in Malmo.

The Q-School graduate was threatening the lead on five-under through 14 before a run of three successive bogeys pegged him back. Phelan finished three shy of leaders Victor Dubuisson of France, Spain's Alvaro Quiros and England's Eddie Pepperell.

Ryder Cup contender Dubuisson posted back-to-back 69s after five weeks out with a shoulder injury; Quiros landed two eagles in his 67 and overnight leader Pepperell made birdie four at 18 to seal a 72.

Gareth Maybin from Ballyclare was contending for the lead until back-to-back double-bogeys at 16 and 17 – on his way to a 75 – left him tied 23rd.

Shane Lowry, runner-up at Wentworth and medal-winner in Monday's US Open qualifier, stumbled through the turn with triple-bogey seven at nine but rounded off a 73 with birdie at 18 to join Michael Hoey (75) in a tie for 43rd on even-par.

Peter Lawrie made the cut on the mark, one-over, after a 70. Simon Thornton missed by one after playing the final eight holes of his 75 in seven-over, while Damien McGrane was 10-over after successive 77s.

NORDEA MASTERS, LIVE, SPORTS 4, 12.30pm

Irish Independent

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