Costly final nine holes sees Murphy’s chances slip away in Vietnam

Mark McGowan
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Gary Murphy (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Gary Murphy is seven shots adrift in the Legends Tour’s Vinpearl DIC Legends Vietnam after covering his final nine holes at Vinpearl Golf Nha Trang in three-over to fall to tied 12th.

Starting round two of the 54-hole penultimate event on the Legends circuit just three shots back at -2, Murphy started with five straight pars before dropping a shot at the 15th – his sixth – but back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 saw him make the turn at one-under for the day and -3 overall.

Battling tricky winds that were growing hole-by-hole, the front side was always going to be a sterner test and starting his inward loop bogey, double-bogey left him a mountain to climb if he was to have any chance of securing a first Legends Tour victory. Though he’d pull a shot back on the par-5 fifth, a closing bogey dropped him back to level-par again and tied for 12th, barring a blistering final round or serious collapses from the leading quartet, a top-five finish will be the height of his ambitions.

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Brazil’s Adilson da Silva backed up his opening 66 was a two-under 69 to pull two clear at the top. Lying second in the Order of Merit and needing a top-five finish at worst and a better placing than Englishman Peter Baker to keep the race alive ahead of the season-ending MCB Tour Championship Mauritius next month.

That race looks set to go to the wire with Baker shooting a 75 to fall back to +2 and a tie for 17th, but, having avoided trouble all day and carded four birdies, da Silva inexplicably took a double bogey-seven on the par-5 sixth – his 15th – to give hope to the chasing pack.

His nearest challenger is now 2005 US Open champion Michael Campbell whose 68 was one of the rounds of the day and the Kiwi lies two adrift of da Silva. But nobody bettered Swede Joakim Haeggman’s 67 and it was enough to lift him into a tie for third at -4 alongside England’s Andrew Marshall, three off the lead and poised to pounce should da Silva struggle on what promises to be another blustery day on the eastern Vietnamese island.

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