Paul McGinley continues to fly the flag for Ireland and sits in fourth place heading into the final round of the MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius.
Paul McGinley / Image from Getty Images
The 2014 Ryder Cup captain fired five birdies on his was to a four-under-par 68 that finds him six shots off the lead on nine-under-par as he goes in search of a first senior title.
Mark McNulty is the next best of the Irish after elevating himself into a share of 18th on three-under-par after returning a 68 of his own today.
While Headfort’s Brendan McGovern added a 73 to his opening day 76 to sit near the foot of the board on plus five.
At the top, Magnus P Atlevi carded the lowest round of the day, a seven under par 65, to put the pressure on 36-hole leader Clark Dennis.
The Swede started the day at Constance Belle Mare Plage on five under par, four strokes behind Dennis, and the pair traded blows on the front nine as they both carded five birdies. Dennis came home in 35, one under par, for a round of 66 and a 15 under par total, as Atlevi made two further gains on the back nine to reduce the deficit to just three shots.
Both players will go in search of their second victories of the 2018 season, with Dennis successfully defending his Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort title and Atlevi winning the European Tour Properties Senior Classic in September.
“Yesterday and the day before, my golf didn’t feel good at all,” said Atlevi. “But you have to get on with it. I didn’t start very well yesterday and I haven’t played well here in the past. I told myself I needed to be patient and, bit-by-bit, some birdies fell in and I finished five under par.
“Today I could feel my body was more prepared – I felt as though I had more speed. My goal for the week is to not take it too seriously, which I have done in the past. So tomorrow I need to go out there, be relaxed, and enjoy it, no matter what.
“I can’t believe I’m 12 under and I don’t feel as though I’ve tried – I have a lot to look forward to with the final round tomorrow and another tournament next week.”
Dennis, who is playing in just his second season on the Staysure Tour, will hope to add to his growing trophy cabinet, having already won three times on the European over-50s circuit. The American remains bogey-free after the first two rounds in Mauritius.
“I left a lot of shots out there today,” said Dennis. “I hit it so good on the front nine, hit it close and made some putts. I had some chances on the back nine but missed three or four putts for birdie from about five feet. You can’t complain when you’re 15 under, but it could have been a special day.
“It helped playing with Magnus again. You know you can’t just make pars on this course – it was good to see him start off well and I thought ‘if he’s going to go, I have to go too’.”
2002 Ryder Cup hero Phillip Price will join Dennis and Atlevi in tomorrow’s final group after matching Dennis’s round of 66 for an 11 under par total. Incredibly, the Welshman birdied seven holes on the back nine after making the turn one over par.
There is still all to play for on the final day as the top 29 players on the Order of Merit and three invitations will go on to the MCB Tour Championship – Seychelles next week, the final event of the 2018 Staysure Tour season.