Monday 20 November 2017

Phelan keeps cool to make halfway grade

Kevin Phelan
Kevin Phelan

THERE'LL be a distinct sense of déjà vu on the first tee this morning when local favourite Charl Schwartzel and Danish hotshot Morten Orum Madsen shake hands before going head-to-head in the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Schwartzel and Madsen, joint leaders on eight-under through 36 holes at Leopard Creek, also played in the final group last Sunday, when the latter notched his maiden European Tour victory in the opening event of the new season.

However, 2011 US Masters winner Schwartzel, the defending champion this week, is odds-on to win for the third time in eight years on his favourite course.

While Schwartzel compiled impressive back-to-back 68s, Madsen (24) had a bit of a speed wobble yesterday as he followed up Thursday's inspired 65 with a second-round 71. He had an eagle three at he second, plus a brace of double-bogeys, two bogeys and five birdies.

Kevin Phelan (23) survived the halfway cut in his first Tour outing since graduating from Q-School. With trademark grit, the Waterford man completed his second-round 74 with 10 straight pars to make the weekend on the mark.

Tied 49th with Phelan in the 19-man posse on level-par were Damien McGrane and Gareth Maybin. Peter Lawrie shot a 76 to miss out on four-over, while Simon Thornton was one further back. After an opening 76, Michael Hoey retired yesterday, his energy "zapped" by a nasty dose of flu he contracted last week.

South African Open,

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