McElroy bounces back with stunning 64 to make Castletown cut

John Craven

Dermot McElroy (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy bounced back from an opening 74 to go 10 shots better with an eight-under 64 and fire himself into the final round of the EuroPro Tour’s regular season finale at Castletown Golf Links.

The 28-year old carded nine birdies, including three in his closing four holes to transform his fortunes and give his Challenge Tour hopes a boost ahead of October’s Tour Championship at Slaley Hall.

McElroy, who sits in fourth spot on the Order of Merit where the top-5 will earn Challenge Tour promotion for next season, now finds himself in a tie for 36th at six-under par, albeit still 10 shots back of Scot Calum Fyfe’s lead.

Limerick’s Tim Rice is also at six-under par after adding a 71 to his opening 67. Galway’s Ronan Mullarney also came through the field with a stunning 65 to move through to five-under par, the same score as Cork’s John Hickey (69) and K Club pro Conor O’Rourke (71).

Five-under par is where the 36-hole cut fell with Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith unlucky to miss out at four-under.

At the head of affairs, Fyfe (Trinifold Sports) signed for a second-round bogey-free day of 64 (-8) to be two clear of Benjamin Jones after going out in 31 to hold a clubhouse lead going into the final round for the second time this season.

Jones represented the 2021 GB&I Walker Cup team and is on the hunt for his first professional victory after posting a score of 69 (-3) to go to -14. The Northamptonshire County golfer made birdie at the 572 yards, par 5, 7th to go out in 36 after an earlier bogey.

Jack McDonald (Kilmarnock (Barassie) won the last event of the 2019 main season and he will go into the final day four shy of the lead after a round of 64 (-8) to move into contention tied fourth alongside Adam Chapman and Jack Yule. Chapman of Penrith Golf Hub sits just inside the order of merit so a strong completion to his week should see him book a place at Slaley Hall. Yule (King’s Lynn Golf Club) meanwhile knows he could head into the season-ender inside the top five if he posts a good final round.

Four are tied at -11 with Taylor Carter, Chris Lloyd, Tom Sloman, and Bailey Gill all looking to seize on any final day mistakes to get their first taste of silverware of the season. Carter (Hanbury Manor) had quite the front nine as he went out in 33 with six birdies but a double bogey on the par 3, ninth hole.

Jack Floydd (Haywards Heath Golf Club) looked on for a 59 after going -10 through 12 but let it slip with two late bogies ending those hopes, nevertheless though, a round of 64 keeps him in tow at -10.

The round of the day went to James Newton of Mottram Hall though who carded a round of 62 (-10) to recover from an opening round of four over.

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