Mooney & McGovern with work to do at Staysure Q-School

Bernie McGuire
Bernie McGuire

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Damian Mooney dropped back in his pursuit of a Senior Tour card after day two of Staysure Tour Qualifying School Final Stage in Portugal while Brendan McGovern needed a strong finish to stay in with a chance of qualifying.

Belfast golfer Mooney fell 16 places down the leaderboard into a tie for 28th after posting a three-over-par 74 in the second round, managing three birdies, but mistakes scuppered his scoring with four bogeys and a double on the card.

The round saw Mooney drop to a four-over-par total, the same score as Headfort’s Brendan McGovern who improved with a bizarre even par rollercoaster round.

The colourful McGovern looked dead and buried having played his opening 11 holes in four-over but suddenly his game caught fire, with the veteran sinking four birdies in his last 6 to retain parity for the round.

The third round will begin at 9.00am local time today (Wednesday) where the field will vie to make the cut with only those within eight shots of fifth place qualifying for the final round. Ireland’s hopefuls currently find themselves six shots off a share of 4th with four players tied at minus-two.

André Bossert soared to the top of the leaderboard after posting a five-under-par 66 on day two at Vale da Pinta to hold the halfway lead on five-under-par.

The 55-year-old navigated his way round without recording a blemish on his scorecard and will take a one-shot lead into Day Three, with Englishman Simon P Brown one shot behind on four-under-par.

Welshman Sion E Bebb is a shot further back on three-under-par while David Morland IV, Dan Olsen, George Ryall and Peter T Wilson all share fourth place on two under.

Bossert, who started the day level par after a bogey and a birdie apiece on day one, made his intentions clear from the off by carding birdies at the tenth and 12th – two of his first three holes – before a further gain arrived at the 16th.

He made the turn at three under and safely parred his way towards home before finishing with a flourish with two final gains at the last two holes, birdieing the par four eighth and the par three ninth.

Bossert believes the five-shot swing in his two opening rounds was merely down to his performance on the greens, citing his putting as a clear difference.

“I’m very pleased,” Bossert said. “I probably played the same type of golf tee-to-green yesterday but I didn’t have any luck on the greens, so I was happy today to hole a few putts.

“I’ve been hitting it very well. I think I hit 17 greens yesterday and probably 17 greens today. I’m hitting it very consistently and I think I just got it closer to the hole today, giving myself more opportunities.

“It was strange on the first day. On the range I thought ‘wow, this is a survival day’ and then the first tee shot was windy, but I thought it settled down after that. To be honest, I don’t think there was a huge difference to today.”

The South African-born Swiss said he enjoys the challenge Vale da Pinta presents and wants to stick to his pre-tournament scoring goal.
“It is a very tactical golf course,” he said. “You have to place your tee shots, it’s not about just getting up and bombing the driver off the tee.

“These greens have a lot of corners where they can tuck the pins, so you have to think. You have to think whether you need to fade it in there or draw it. I love this. This is my type of golf and I love this type of golf. I enjoy it.

“I want to see if I can keep hitting fairways, hitting greens and keep ahead of the curve, that’s what it’s about. I fell behind the curve yesterday, I felt. The goal for the week was to be two-under every day so I want to keep doing that.”

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