McBride & Dawson stride into the weekend at KPMG Trophy

Paul McBride (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Paul McBride was the big mover on day two in Belgium after the Dubliner produced a stunning six-under par round of 65 at the KPMG Trophy.

The Island professional joined Robin Dawson at nine-under par after firing a magnificent seven birdies in a fizzing Friday finish as McBride goes after a career-best result on the Challenge Tour.

Meanwhile Tramore’s Dawson had got to 10-under par before a dropped shot on the 16th resigned him to a share 4th alongside McBride heading into an exciting weekend for the Irish pair.

Unfortunately, an Irish twosome is all they will be after Stephen Grant added a 75 to his opening round of 74 for a seven-over par total while West Waterford’s Gary Hurley went just one better after second round 75 and six-over total saw him fall a long way short of the weekend’s qualifying mark of minus-five.

For the second time in the last three weeks, Jack Senior finds himself on top of a leaderboard after opening the tournament with rounds of 63-66 to take a one-shot lead on 13-under par.

Through the first two days, the Englishman has carded 16 birdies against only three bogeys and is displaying the form which earned him a second-career European Challenge Tour victory only two weeks ago.

Senior then backed up the win with a top-15 finish in last week’s Rolex Trophy and through the first 36-holes at Millennium Golf, things have continued to go his way.

“I had two chip-ins, back-to-back at six and seven and then drove the green and made birdie at eight,” he said. “I think when you start to see them go in, it’s funny because you could stand there and hit good putts and not really hole anything and your confidence starts to drain away a little bit, but I feel over the last couple of weeks I felt like I rolled the ball well.”

The 31-year-old has been a consistent performer on the European Challenge Tour over the past six-seasons, but sitting in 11th on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, he has played his way into the coveted top-15, and a strong result in Belgium could further bolster his chances of graduating to the European Tour at the end of the season.

“I had my girlfriend on the bag the last couple of weeks,” he said. “I think it just helps having someone there by your side at times, who knows you really well and knows what to say at the right times.

“Although she’s not here this week, it’s a bit of a continuation on how things have been going. I just feel confident on the greens and confident with the putter at the minute. How long that will last nobody knows, so I’ve just got to go out tomorrow with the same attitude and see where we end up.”

Victory at the KPMG Trophy will not come easily, as 29 players sit within five strokes of the lead at the halfway point.

The chasing pack is led by a European Tour winner in Ross McGowan and Sebastian Heisele, who fired a ten under par 61 on day one, which still stands as the low-round of the week.

Home-favourite Christopher Mivis—who grew up playing Millennium Golf with friend and fellow-countryman Thomas Pieters—opened the KPMG Trophy with a pair of 67s to hold low-Belgian honours through the first two rounds.

In total, 74 players survived the cut, which fell on five under par. The 137 strokes or fewer needed to advance to the weekend marked the lowest cut, in terms of cumulative score, this season on the Challenge Tour.

Day three of the KPMG Trophy begins tomorrow at 8:20 am local time with the lead group of Senior, McGowan and Heisele set to go at 12:40 pm.

Full Scoring HERE


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