Shane McDermott sunk a brilliant eagle on the last to push him into the lead after the second round of the East of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at County Louth Golf Club.
A round of 68, which consisted of four birdies and the eagle on 18, gives the Slieve Russell golfer a one-shot lead on -8 just ahead of Sam Murphy (Portumna) heading into the final day in Baltray.
“I hit driver and had 222 metres in and hit a four iron. It was 190 metres-ish to the front of the green. I flushed my iron to 12 feet and held the putt” said McDermott after finishing off his eagle.
The hard work is paying off for the 25-year-old who heads into an unfamiliar position tomorrow, as he will tee it up in the final group, with Murphy and reigning champion Alex Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown) also in contention.
“It’s unfamiliar territory. I got to the semi-final of the West this year and hopefully learned a lot from that experience. Just bring it into tomorrow and see what we can do. It’s only halfway there, 36 to go,” said McDermott.
“Slowly but surely getting there. A lot of it mentally. Doing a lot of work with Chris Selfridge and then Gordon Smyth in Slieve Russell. Just me and him do so much work together, sometimes we could kill each other. It works out so well, he puts a lot of work into me and thankfully it is paying off. Between the two of them I owe a lot to them.”
Murphy had the low round of the day after finishing his round birdie, birdie to shoot 67 (-5). On a day where he didn’t feel like he hit the ball his best, he capitalised on all the opportunities that he gave himself.
“We’re only halfway there, there is still a lot of golf to be played. The past two rounds have been just keeping yourself in it really, giving yourself a shot and I’m lucky enough to be near the top. We’ll just see how it goes tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it,” said Murphy.
“Just keep doing what I’ve been doing. It’s great to have Dad on the bag, keep your mind off golf and then when you have a shot it’s all about focusing on it. Tomorrow, I’ll just take it as it comes and see what happens.”
43 players finished on +1 or better and they will tee it up and play 36 holes on the final day of the East of Ireland Championship.