Phelan still fighting at Bridgestone Challenge

Bernie McGuire
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Phelan still fighting at Bridgestone Challenge

After the rain made it’s presence felt at the Bridgestone Challenge as heavy rain flooded the course causing play to be stopped prematurely on day one the second round was only completed yesterday with the leaders taking to the course at 6pm to start their third round.

Not surprisingly play was stopped for darkness with leader Steven Brown only completing four holes of his final round.

Kevin Phelan was the best placed Irish player after round two on 13 points after four birdies and two bogeys in his second round but he was 11 points behind the leaders with Cormac Sharvin on 9 points and Dermot McElroy joining Ruaidhri McGee on 6 points. Chris Selfridge was disqualified.

30 year old Brown, who currently sits in 23rd place in the Road to Oman Ranking scored 14 birdies and four bogeys during his first 36 holes as the man from Surrey accumulated 24 points in Modified Stableford – a new format for the Challenge Tour this week – to share the halfway lead with France’s Julien Guerrier.

After such a promising 36-hole display, Brown was delighted to be in contention with two rounds left to finish.

“I just played really well,” he said. “I have been playing solidly for a while – just very consistent without ever being able to get momentum going or holing putts at the right time. There would also be a simple up-and-down that I’d miss, but that changed today.”

“Although I didn’t hole everything I was certainly able to convert my chances at the right time, even if they were simple ones, and that made the difference.”

“I really got going around the middle of my second round with four birdies from 15 to 18, and I hit 18 greens and had 18 chances so I was never really in any trouble – I was also really good off of the tee.”

“I holed a few 15 footers and put it to about one foot on the 15th for a tap-in birdie. It was a really tricky day as it was quite windy so I am really pleased to have played so well in the conditions.”

“It had definitely been coming and I had been getting a bit frustrated before – I think I was maybe a bit more patient today which really helped.”

“You can score really well on this course if there is no wind so I expect there to be a lot more low scores. We’ll see what tomorrow brings and it will be all to play for.”

Before darkness halted proceedings in Luton Germany’s Nicolai von Dellingshausen took the early lead after carding an eagle and a birdie over his first five holes.

Play is underway now in the third round and competitors will complete both their third and fourth rounds today. The latest scores from the tournament can be found here.

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