Rock solid from Stone at the Swiss Challenge as all Irish golfers bow out

Conor Cantwell

Brandon Stone (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Conor Cantwell

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South African Brandon Stone takes a two-shot lead into the weekend’s play at the Swiss Challenge on the DP World Tour’s feeder competition after a bogey-free second round of 66 leaves him on -11, with all Irish players missing the weekend cut set at two-under-par.

A two-over-par round from Jonathan Caldwell dragged the Northern Irishman below the projected cut, while level-par rounds by Dermot McElroy and Daniel Mulligan weren’t enough to progress to the weekend play at Golf Saint Apollinaire.

Another above-par round of golf from Conor Purcell meant the 26-year-old also failed to make the cut as he finished with a score of +5 for his two days of play.

Jonathan Caldwell was the best-placed of the Irish contenders after an opening round of 68 and although he started his round well it ultimately ended in disappointment for the 39-year-old.

An early birdie on the 12th looked to be the perfect start as Caldwell moved to five-under-par for the tournament, but consecutive bogeys on the 16th and 17th brought his score for the day to +1 and his tournament score to -3.

Caldwell made up for this disappointing run of holes as he began his back nine with a birdie on the first levelling his score for the day, but yet again a run of bogeys would hamper the Clandeboye golfer’s progress.

Back-to-back dropped shots on the third and fourth sent Caldwell onto tow over for the day but again he reacted well with a birdie on the fifth to keep his score above what would become the eventual cut.

The pivotal hole in Caldwell’s round would be the seventh as he recorded his fifth bogey of the day, and although he reacted well each time he had a poor run of form today, there were not enough holes left for the Northern Irishman to stage one last comeback as he finished on +2 for the day.

Dermot McElroy’s round of 72 of three birdies and three bogeys was mirrored by Irish teenager Daniel Mulligan, with both players missing the cut.

A disappointing result for McElroy after a decent showing last week in Portugal where he followed up the narrowest of defeats at the Challenge de España a week prior to that.

Compared to Mulligan’s previous opening rounds on the tour this was a much steadier and more consistent attempt, but unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he will have to wait a bit longer for his first made cut on the DP World Tour’s official feeder competition.

Clubhouse leader Brandon Stone played a rock-solid second round and recorded a strong round of five-under-par to take a two-shot lead into Saturday’s play.

The South African addressed his strong showing today, which included an eagle on the 12th, after his blemish-free round today.

“I obviously played quite nicely as the score would suggest, but the conditions got a little bit trickier those last three or four holes,” he said. “We were greeted with some rain and some heavy winds, so overall a bogey-free five under, I’m very happy.

“I feel like I’m back to where I should be with regards to my control of emotions and my golf ball.”


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