European Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington handed those Whistling Straits aspirants an example of his fighting qualities in ensuring his place over the weekend in the D+D Czech Masters.
Harrington, after losing a practice round due to the late arrival of his clubs, looked all set to be heading home after an opening round 73 but the soon-to-be 48-year old dug deep in grabbing four birdies in a bogey-free second round 68 for a three-under par total to ensure his place over the weekend in Prague.
The Dubliner is contesting just his sixth European Tour event this year and his gutsy Czech Masters second round ends a run of two missed cuts, and it just the third occasion this year he will play all four rounds.
Up front it was Italy’s Edoardo Molinari leading the way in posting back-to-back 66s to lead the field by two shots at 12-under par.
Strangely, Molinari has never enjoyed a 36-hole lead before this week at Albatross Golf Resort.
Molinari had to regain his card at the Qualifying School in 2015 and 2016 before winning the 2017 Trophée Hassan II, and finished 127th on last season’s Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex.
“I’m definitely playing differently on the course, I’m giving myself lots of chances,” he said. “Even today I could have made a few putts more and it’s just the way it is at the minute.
“I’m playing very consistently, the equipment change helped me a lot at the beginning of the year.
“I’m picking my spots, there’s a bit of engineering behind it, I’ve been doing it for a few months and it’s definitely paying off.on two shot Czech lead
“At the moment I’m very comfortable, I’m enjoying playing golf. I’ve been going through a tough few years so at the minute I’m just really enjoying myself on the golf course, I’m playing well so life is good at the minute.”
Joining Harrington over the weekend is Greystones Paul Dunne who posted scores of 70 and 71 to be tied with Harrington just a place outside the top-50.
Dunne had been cruising inside the cut-mark until a penultimate hole bogey dropped him back to minus-3.
Needing to par the last in a tense finish, Dunne duly delivered but the 26-year old will be intent on using moving day to leapfrog his way closer to the top of the leaderboard as he continues the endless grind that has been his season thus far.
Sadly, Gavin Moynihan missed a fourth weekend cut in succession with a pair of 71s and certainly needs a huge turnaround if he’s to retain European Tour membership.
The Mt. Juliet golfer has competed in 15 ‘regular’ events this year but played all four rounds in only six.
Full Scoring HERE