McClean holds four-shot lead at the North of Ireland

Ronan MacNamara

Matthew McClean. (Image: Golf Ireland / Thos Caffrey - Golffile)

Ronan MacNamara

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Matthew McClean holds a four-shot lead at the half-way point of the North of Ireland Championship at Royal Portrush.

The Malone golfer is on -10, after a second round of 67 on the Dunluce Links. Seven birdies and two bogeys were on McClean’s scorecard in a round that wasn’t bettered all day.

Liam Nolan is in second place on -6. The Galway golfer began the day as joint leader with McClean and Jack McDonnell, but he now leads the chasing pack.

An excellent 68 from Royal Dublin’s Richard Knightly, sees the Dubliner lie in third place on -5, and will be in tomorrow’s final group with McClean and Nolan.

Carton House’s Marc Boucher and McDonnell complete the top-five on -4. 19 players will go into the final day under par.

Despite the four-shot lead, McClean is keeping expectations low ahead of playing 36 holes on Friday.

“There’s still a long way to go, with plenty of golf to be played. My first two rounds have gone to plan so far. It’s all about taking it hole by hole tomorrow.

“I’ve played well. I had rocky patches in both rounds, but have recovered well. There’s plenty to focus on tomorrow.

“The North is definitely the top of the four provincial championships for me, as you’d imagine. I’ve always dreamt of winning this growing up. It’s just nice to be in contention, and playing well.”

Overall, 54 players made the cut, with a two-tee start in operation for the final two rounds.
North of Ireland Men’s Amateur Open – Leaderboard

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