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Hoey & Harrington lead Irish trio into European Open weekend

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Michael Hoey joined European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington in the clubhouse at one-over par as the pair cruised through to the weekend of the Porsche European Open.

Ballymoney professional Hoey was in need of a paycheck in Hamburg this week and that’s guaranteed now after battling his way to a one-under par 71 this afternoon.

The Northern Irishman was rock-solid in his play, posting three birdies and two bogeys in an effort that saw him move 17 places up the board to a tie for 32nd alongside Harrington.

The three-time Major winner endured a tougher day at Green Eagle Golf Courses, dropping four shots against two birdies before signing for a 74.

With Scot Robert MacIntyre racing four clear, it may be a battle for the places already for Ireland’s remaining trio but with valuable Race to Dubai points up for grabs, Gavin Moynihan won’t mind as the Dubliner also booked his place in the weekend’s draw.

Moynihan returned an even par result comprising of three birdies and three bogeys to jump four places up the board to a share of 45th at two-over par.

Ardglass professional, Cormac Sharvin will have better days ahead after the 27-year old missed the cut by three strokes at six-over par.

It’s MacIntyre who’s the man of the hour as the young Scot stormed into the lead, firing a flawless seven-under par second round of 65 to take a four-stroke advantage into the weekend in Hamburg.

The 23-year-old, who started the day two strokes behind 18-hole leader Paul Casey, carded the low round of the week so far. The Scotsman recorded three birdies on the front nine, which he matched as he came in, capping his round with his seventh gain of the day on the 18th hole.

“I just stuck to my game plan,” said the leader, who added, “it’s probably the best I’ve driven the ball this year. It’s not just going straight, it’s going miles. I don’t know what I’m doing but it’s working, and I’ll try and continue to do it.

“I’ve changed quite a few things over the season to improve. Dave, my coach, is on the bag this week, he’s doing a great job off the course when I’m at home and doing the right things. It’s great to see the reward.”

A runner-up on two occasions in his rookie season – at the Betfred British Masters and Made in Denmark presented by FREJA in back-to-back weeks in May – this is the first time MacIntyre has held an overnight lead on the European Tour.

“It’s going to be tough, especially when it’s the first time that I’ve got such a lead – whether on the Challenge Tour or here on the European Tour – I’ll have to learn from this experience. I’m doing the right things on the course and the right things off the course, I’m nice and relaxed. Everything at home has been brilliant, so I’m in the right mindset for going out this weekend.”

Leading the chasing park is Germany’s Bernd Ritthammer, who delighted the home crowds with a six under par round of 66 to reach a seven under par total. He is two strokes ahead of the trio of Casey, Guido Migliozzi and Matthias Schwab.

Bernd Wiesberger and Alexander Björk share sixth place on four under par, while German Dominic Foos is one of six players a stroke further back in eighth.

Full scoring HERE

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