Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy burst into life on day two at Tulfarris to head the Irish charge into the final day at the PREM Group Irish Masters.
McElroy was electric in his play as he carded six birdies with a single dropped shot on the card to move into a share of sixth at five-under par.
That puts the Northern Irishman six back heading into the final day but given the unpredictability of the forecast, the safety of that lead might seem very fragile come tomorrow afternoon.
Ireland’s leading EuroPro contender, Jonathan Caldwell is not without hope either despite failing to add to his four-under tally during a frustrating even par 72 this morning in Wicklow.
Caldwell was joined in a share of 12th at minus-four by Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney who fired a second-successive 70 to move seven back of the lead.
There’s plenty of hometown experience one shot further adrift too after home club professional, Simon Thornton returned a 70 of his own to move to minus-three alongside European Tour man, Michael Hoey who added a 71 to his total today to sit just inside the top-20.
Woodcote Park’s Peter Williamson was another Irishman safely through to the weekend despite a disappointing double bogey – bogey finish to his round that saw him sign for a plus-one 73 and a one-under par total.
Balbriggan’s Niall Turner and North West’s Brian McElhinney were the only other two home players to make the final day cut after they snuck in on the mark at plus-one.
At the head of affairs by three sits Marco Penge after he posted a second-round score of 67 (-5) in tricky conditions to move to eleven-under going into the last day tomorrow.
The round included seven birdies including four on the bounce to finish the day and give him a comfortable cushion over Mitch Waite.
Waite (Filton Golf Club) recorded his second 68 (-4) of the week to sit outright second on a day that could’ve been even better with seven birdies to his name.
A winner at Caversham Heath, Sean Towndrow of (Southport & Ainsdale GC / Golfing4Life) and Nick Watson (Stoke Rochford Golf Club) are one shot further back on seven under.
Towndrow held the best score of the day in a round of 65 for seven under in a bogey-free day that included two eagles. It could’ve been seven under for Watson too with five birdies and an eagle. Alasdair Plumb is six under after a second round 68 (-4) to go with his opening round of 70 (-2) taking him to fifth.
The leaderboard looks congested thereafter with Lawrence Allan (Alva Golf Club), Daniel Smith (RED GOLF MANAGEMENT),McElroy (Ballymena Golf Club), Andrew Wilson (Rockliffe Hall), Rhys Thompson (Boldon Golf Club) and Michael Bullen (Goring Electrical Services) all tied for sixth at five under.
Highlights of The PREM Group Irish Masters will air on Sky Sports Golf on 10, September 2019 at 20:00
Full scoring HERE