Nolan and Moran in contention at St Andrews

Ronan MacNamara
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Nolan and Moran in contention at St Andrews

The Swilcan Bridge on the 18th Fairway of the Old Course, St. Andrews, Fife. Picture Credit: P.Tomkins / VisitScotland / Scottish Viewpoint

Liam Nolan is two shots off the pace heading into the final day of the St Andrews Links Trophy at the Jubilee Course.

Today will see the players play thirty-six holes as the final two rounds are completed and Nolan is in a share of fifth place while Robert Moran is within striking distance from four behind.

Scotland’s George Burns and Australia’s Connor McKinney share the lead on eight-under-par.

Galway’s Nolan backed up his opening 67 with a one-under 71 to move to six-under at the halfway stage but he might feel frustrated that he let a couple of shots slip from his grasp late in the round.

Bogeys on the fifteenth and seventeenth were an unfortunate way to end what was a terrific round of golf until that point and he remains firmly in the mix.

The NUIG student was three-under for his round after twelve holes courtesy of a birdie on the third and a brace on the eleventh and twelfth as he launched an assault towards the summit.

The Irish international is alongside English duo Jake Hibbert and Arron Edwards-Hill and South African starlet Jonathan Broomhead.

Successive rounds of 70 have Castle’s Moran still in the hunt heading into the final two rounds.

The Dubliner started sluggishly, dropping a shot on the par-5 3rd before he roared to the turn with three birdies in five holes.

Like Nolan, he also carded a brace of birdies on 11 and 12 before giving them back on the thirteenth and fourteenth. Four pars saw him home in 36 strokes and he lies in a nine-way share of 12th.

The cut fell at level-par and Paul Conroy, Hugh Foley and Matthew McClean are all safely through to the final day and are not entirely out of contention at one-under and seven adrift.

Enniscorthy’s Conroy recovered from an opening round of 75 with a superb four-under 68 to climb into the top-30.

The Wexford man was in flawless form carding four birdies on the eighth, eleventh, twelfth and eighteenth to cruise into Sunday.

Royal Dublin’s Foley shot a two-under 70 to secure his spot despite a double-bogey six on the last. The Clontarf native was within five strokes of the lead before that disappointing finish.

The former West and Irish Close champion turned in 34 after birdies on 2,3 and 6 while dropped shots on the 5th and 10th were overshadowed by a hat trick of birdies from the eleventh to the thirteenth.

That stretch early in the back nine has proved fruitful for the Irish this week and McClean who has an eagle and a birdie on the eleventh so far carded a level-par 72 to remain one-under.

It was an eventful round for the Malone native carding five birdies three bogeys and a double.

Despite a superb 68 from Roscommon’s Thomas Higgins he missed the cut by the minimum alongside Sligo’s TJ Ford on plus one.

Meanwhile, Marc Boucher, Keith Egan, John Cleary, Alan Fahy, David Kitt and Paul Coughlan all bowed out at the halfway stage.

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