A second-round one-over 71 sees Ronan Mullarney in fifth place going into the third and final round at the Alps Tour’s Open de La Mirabelle D’Or in Metz in northern France.
In a three-way tie for the lead on -3 after day one, the Galway man would trade one birdie and one bogey on the opening nine at the firm and fast Golf de La Grange aux Ormes, and picked up another stroke with birdie at the par-5 12th.
Two bogeys on the closing three holes would take a little gloss off the performance, but the one-over round would still see the man lying second on the Alps Tour Order of Merit placed in the top five going into Sunday’s final round.
“I played decent today,” Mullarney said afterwards, “I just didn’t hole any putts. There was a bit of wind which made things tricky, but it’s a very tricky golf course anyway. I hit my irons well and managed to keep it on the short stuff, but I just didn’t manage to make many birdies. But I’m happy enough.
“I’ll need a low score tomorrow if I’m to win, but it’s definitely doable. I’ll just need to hole a few more putts than I did today.”
Paul McBride, who began the day one off the lead, shot a four-over 74 and now lies tied for 26th at +2. Back-to-back double bogeys to finish the round proved extremely costly for the Malahide man, but like Mullarney, he knows that a low final round will see him shoot up the leaderboard.
There was no joy for James Sugrue, Paul Murphy or Michael Young however, and all three missed the 36-hole cut having given themselves a lot of work to do after their opening efforts.
France’s Theo Brizard, on six-under, leads by one over England’s Jack Floydd with the Netherland’s Lars Keunen one further adrift in third place at -4. Brizard’s 65 was the low round of the day, and the third-year pro is seeking his first victory on the Alps Tour.
Two-time winner and current Order of Merit leader Kiet Van der Weele is in solo fourth at -3, having carded a four-under 66 in round two. Mullarney is part of a four-way tie for fifth alongside France’s Nicolas Aparicio, Swiss Luca Galliano and French amateur Theo Boulet.