Hoey and O’Briain head Irish challenge in France

Bernie McGuire

Michael Hoey - Getty

Michael Hoey improved on his round one 76 by firing in a sensational 66 in the second round of the Hauts de France Golf Open on the European Challenge Tour. His ten shot improvement moved Hoey up 83 spots on the leaderboard at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club in a round that contained six birdies and an eagle to lie in a tie for 30th six shots off the pace.

Old Conna Golf Clubs Neil O’Briain lies just one shot further back after he birdied two of his last four holes to come home in 33 carding a 69 on day two following his opening 74 to leave him in a tie for 40th.
While Hoey and O’Briain bounced back from disappointing opening rounds, overnight leader Dermot McElroy followed his opening round 67 with a disappointing 77 dropping him to a +2 tota to make the cut on the mark alongside Cormac Sharvin ( 74,70)
Gary Hurley (74,72, +4), Ruaidhri McGee (72,75, +5), Chris Selfridge (77,77 +12) and Kevin Phelan (78,80 +16) all missed the halfway cut.

At the top, Christopher Mivis maintained his position at the summit by carding a two under par round of 69 on day two in northern France.
The Belgian will share the lead for the second day running at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club, with home favourite Thomas Linard joining him on six under par after his own four under par score of 67.
Mivis, whose best performance on the European Challenge Tour came at the D+D REAL Czech Challenge three weeks ago when he claimed a share of fifth, recovered from an opening bogey to reach the turn in 33 after four birdies over his next eight holes.
The 28 year old, who won twice on the satellite Pro Golf Tour last season, was unable to add to his birdie tally, narrowly missing several opportunities over the back nine.
After getting the better of difficult conditions for two days in a row, Mivis was delighted with his performance – particularly his short game.
“The best part of my game has been my putting,” he said. “I haven’t made one three-putt so far this week, and I think on these greens a lot of guys will make a three-putt.
“At the beginning of the tournament I set myself an aim of not making any three-putts, so hopefully I can keep a clean slate for two more days.
Two shots behind Linard and Mivis on four under par are Spain’s Scott Fernandez and South Africa’s Jacques Kruyswijk while Alessandro Tadini, twice a runner-up in Saint Omer, is one of eight players who share fifth place on three under par.
Daan Huizing carded the round of the day in Lumbres, making nine birdies on his way to breaking the course record at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club with a bogey-free 62.
The Dutchman had started the day eleven shots off the lead after opening with a seven over par 78, but after finishing with five consecutive birdies, he flew up the leaderboard to reach two under par and comfortably make the cut – which fell at two over par.


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