James Sugrue looks set to be the leading Irishman at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open as the event enters moving day.
Sugrue, who was a late addition to the event following an invitation from the European Tour, opened with a superb 67 (-3) on day one but had to wait until Saturday morning to complete his second round following weather delays at Galgorm Castle on Friday.
But it proved to be worth the wait as last year’s Amateur Champion birdied his final hole to complete a round of 72 (+2) and was in a tie for 17th on one-under par as he exited the course to rest up before the third round which will commence later today.
“I was happy to finish off the round with a birdie and grab a shot back. I hit driver, driver and was still 40 yards shy so it was great to get up and down for birdie, it’s a serious hole into that wind,” said Sugrue after his round.
The Mallow man added that the experience of his last couple of starts in professional events have put him in a good place to kick on over the weekend at Galgorm; “I have played in a few professional events now and this is my first cut to make, I felt at The Open, US Open and Oman i was there for the experience but this week I feel like I am here to compete and play my own game.”
This was a view echoed by Padraig Harrington who was asked if he’d have any advice for the young Corkman for the rest of the tournament, after the Ryder Cup captain was disappointed to have missed the halfway cut on six-over par.
“He’s playing good golf, Keep going the way he’s going”, said Harrington. “If I was him, expect to ride the emotions for the next few days, he’ll have some good runs, he’ll probably have some bad runs and if he’s encouraged to ride all those emotions then he could be there or thereabouts.
“Shane did it so why not him? He’s got to think like that, that an amateur has won an Irish Open so why can’t he go and do it?”
With a number of players still left to complete their second round it’s a waiting game for the cut mark but it looks like coming at +5 so hopefully we will see Jonathan Caldwell (currently +1 on course) into the weekend alongside the already finished Sugrue (-1), Colm Moriarty (+4) and Damien McGrane (+4).
Full scoring HERE