Ronan Mullarney followed up his opening 66 with a one-under 71 to remain the leading Irish contender at the Alps Tour’s 2023 season-opening Elin Bay Open, but Paul McBride fired a four-under 68 to move up the leaderboard and is just two strokes behind the Galway man.
Mullarney was out in the early wave for round two and birdied the first hole to take a share of the lead, and two more birdies at seven and nine sandwiched a bogey at eight as he made the turn for home at two-under for the day. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to take advantage of the easier back nine, making four successive pars before making back-to-back bogeys on 14 and 15. A birdie on the 17th took him back into red figures for the day, and he’d sign for a 71 which would see him end the day in a tie for sixth, five shots back.
Paul McBride began the day on -1, and after three pars to start, the Malahide man sprang to life with three birdies on the spin, adding another on the 18th (his ninth) to move to four-under for the day at the midpoint.
On the tougher front nine, he’d birdie the first, bogey the sixth and par the rest to reach the clubhouse at -5 for the tournament, moving up to a tie for 15th overall.
“I played pretty well today,” McBride said afterwards. Very solid. Made some good birdies, but a bit disappointed not to birdie any of the par 5s. That’s definitely the biggest disappointment of the day.
“The course isn’t playing that difficult so there’s definitely a low score out there, so hopefully if I go about my business well tomorrow, I can do just that.”
Unfortunately, James Sugrue and Paul Murphy didn’t make the 36-hole cut. Murphy followed his 74 with a 75 today to lie on +5, and Sugrue, having shot level-par in the opening round, went one better but unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough and he missed the cut by the minimum.
Spain’s Alvaro Hernandez Cabezuela leads the field at 12 under-par entering the final round at the 2023 Ein Bay Open. Just one shot back, at 11 under-par Italy’s Cristiano Terragni. Round 1 leader, England’s Jack Floydd is in 3rd place only 2 strokes off the lead. There is a 2-way tie for 4thplace at 8 under-par that includes an Italian duo: Enrico Di Nitto and Andrea Romano.