West Waterford man Gary Hurley tied the low round of the day in the second round of the New Giza Open to leave himself two shots off the lead heading into the final round in Egypt.
Hurley carded nine birdies and two bogeys on his way to a seven-under 65 at New Giza Golf Club to move onto 11-under for the tournament and in a share of fourth, a couple of strokes behind Portugal’s Tomas Bessa Guimaraes.
Bessa also shot a 65 in Cairo to reach 13-under and he will take a one-shot lead over first round leader Joel Moscatel and French amateur Julien Sale into the final day.
But Hurley is well-placed just a shot further back and he will fancy his chances after finding his scoring boots on day two at New Giza GC, a run he will hope he can maintain into Sunday.
He started quickly, birdieing his opening three holes to gather some momentum and he added two more birdies at the seventh and ninth to turn in five-under for the day and soar up the leaderboard.
Bogeys came at 11 and 14 around another birdie on the par-five 12th, but the Waterford man finished with a flourish and put himself in contention with three birdies in his last four holes coming at the 15th, 17th and 18th.
That leaves him two behind Bessa, the Portuguese having an even better finish to an incredible round as he birdied six of his last seven holes – including his last five-in-a-row – to pull one clear at the summit heading into his final round.
“During my first nine holes I managed to get away with some pars even if I didn’t play as I would have liked. Then, on the back nine, my game suddenly changed and I managed to play a more solid round with 5 birdies in a row,” said the 25-year-old.
“Today we needed much more confidence and much more focus because the wind was very strong and for this I’m very proud of my day. I hope I can continue to play like this, not just tomorrow but also during the next weeks.”
Overnight leader Moscatel never hit the heights of his first round but a late eagle led to a 69 that has him one shot back, as is amateur Sale, who added a 67 to sit alongside him at 12-under, one shot ahead of Hurley and another Frenchman in Franck Daux.
Naas’ Jonathan Yates is also still hanging on in contention after four birdies and two bogeys led to a second round 70 that has him eight-under, five shots back in a share of 10th, with Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell the only other Irishman to make the cut after signing for a superb 66 that consisted of an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys to get up to seven-under.
There wasn’t such good news elsewhere as Mallow’s James Sugrue struggled to a one-over 73 and missed the three-under cut line by two shots, with Castleknock man David Carey carding the same score and finishing his week at level-par.
Further down the leaderboard The Island’s Paul McBride and Druid’s Heath pro Simon Bryan signed for rounds of 75 and 78 respectively to finish their tournaments at eight-under.
- Full scores HERE
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