Cormac Sharvin heads a three-pronged Irish attack into the weekend at the ISPS Handa Wales Open at The Celtic Manor Resort.
In driving wind and rain, the Ardglass professional ground out an even par round of 71 to sneak just inside the top-40 with 36-holes to play.
At two-over par, Sharvin trails Connor Syme’s lead by eight but on a packed leaderboard, he’ll hope for a late charge with both Paul Dunne and Jonathan Caldwell two shots further adrift after squeaking into the weekend on the number at plus-four.
Sadly Dubliner Gavin Moynihan missed out by one despite carding a superb one-under par 70 in the conditions for a five-over total.
It’s all about Syme atop the board for now as he continued his remarkable form at Celtic Manor to take a two-stroke lead at the midway point after carding a one under second round 70.
The 25-year-old recorded his best result of the season courtesy of a tie for third at last week’s Celtic Classic, over the same Twenty Ten Course upon which this week’s event is being played, and has continued in that vein as he followed up his five under opening 66 with a 70 in testing conditions.
Syme had the tougher morning draw, teeing it up in strong wind and rain at the 2010 Ryder Cup venue, and fought hard to reach the turn in one over par. Three birdies on the way home, including his second of the week at the difficult par five final hole, took him back under par and moved him two clear on a six under total.
“That was brutal, to be honest,” Syme said. “I thought yesterday was tough but going through what we went through there, we got quite lucky yesterday to be honest. It was a real grind, that was some of the hardest conditions I’ve played in.
“Practicing on the putting green, it was moving a lot so I wasn’t sure if we were going to get started, but I’m delighted with 70 today.
“I don’t really feel like I had my best stuff but it’s hard in the wind. I just really trusted my pace putting to be honest. Although both my bogeys were three-putts it was one of those days where you’re just trying to find the green, and missing it on the correct side was key to be honest. So I really trusted my pace putting, holed a couple of nice ones but that was the key to a solid score in that wind.”
There were six players in a share of second place on four under, including two-time European Tour winner Li Haotong of China and first-round co-leader Jordan Smith of England.
Full scoring HERE
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