Stirring finish keeps Moran within one in Australia

Ronan MacNamara

Robert Moran (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Robert Moran is making a habit of finishing his rounds strongly and he did so again to remain just one shot off the pace at the halfway stage of the Australian Amateur.

Moran carded three birdies in his last five holes to shoot a 67 and climb to nine-under which leaves him in a share of third place with home favourite Kazuma Kobor and Ryan Ang of Singapore on ten-under.

The Castle golfer teed off just one shot adrift of the early lead after an opening 68 and after a blistering finish to round one, he opened his second round in a similar fashion with back-to-back birdies.

A third birdie arrived at the fifth before Moran’s first real setback of the week came on the par-4 ninth where he registered a double-bogey to fall back into the pack.

But the 23-year-old responded gallantly with a birdie at the tenth before birdies at 14, 17 and 18 lifted him back to within one of the lead heading into the final 36 holes at New South Wales Golf Club.

Overnight leader John Gough, who has Meath blood in him courtesy of his father, is two back on eight-under after a second round 69.

World Number One disability golfer Kipp Popert is inside the top-30 on two-under-par.

Moran was the only Irishman to make the cut.

After Liam Nolan won the South American Amateur Championship on Sunday night in Ecuador, Moran will be looking to follow suit and claim his first major title.

Both players were included in Stuart Wilson’s provisional 19-man GB&I Walker Cup squad and with performances abroad set to play a huge role in selection, displays like this should go a long way.

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