Richie O’Donovan’s spirited comeback came up agonisingly short as a he missed the cut by one stroke at the PGA Champiosnhip on the Susnhine Tour.
O’Donovan shot an impressive four-under-par 68 in round two but the opening round 82 proved his undoing as he finished on six-over-par, one shot outside the cut line at St. Francis Links.
O’Donovan opened his round with a bogey on the 11th, his second hole of the day but followed that with a birdie on the par 5 13th and three birdies in a row to finish his front nine. The Lucan man made a bogey and two birdies on the front nine but couldn’t find the extra birdie he needed to make the cut.
Peter Karmis fired a brilliant five-under-par 67 on Friday, the lowest round of the day, to move to eight-under-par overall and sitting pretty as the leader of this prestigious event, which will conclude a day early on Saturday when the third and fourth round will be played. This is due to extreme winds being expected on Sunday, the scheduled last day.
“Due to gale-force winds predicted for Sunday, play will not be possible. In order to get a 72-hole result we will have a double shotgun start on Saturday. Round three will start at 6.40am local time, 5.40am Irish time and the round four shotgun start will be no earlier than 12pm local time. In the event of us being unable to complete round four on Saturday, the tournament result will be based on the conclusion of the third round,” Sunshine Tour Tournament Director Gary Todd said.
Karmis, who was one stroke off the lead after the first round, enjoyed a great start to the second day as he birdied the first two holes and then eagled the par-five sixth. Impressive birdies on the 16th and 18th holes stretched his lead.
“The course is difficult and long and the wind was up today, although it did die down a bit towards the end, but it was still at least one club then,” Karmis said.
“I played pretty nicely, but your heart is pounding on so many holes here. And with the weather forecast saying it’s going to be even windier, it’s going to be a pretty hair-raising last day.
Karmis told the media that his experience on the St.Francis Bay layout will give him an advantage in the tough conditions tomorrow.
“This course is designed for the wind and it’s intimidating. The key is not to be tempted, to not push too much. You mustn’t get greedy and do something unnecessary, otherwise you’ll get hurt.
“But I’ve played here enough to know what is doable and what is not. I hit driver everywhere and I hit a lot of good ones today, some lovely irons and I putted and scrambled well, getting lucky a few times,” Karmis said.
Adam Breen and Keegan Mclachlan are tied in second place on five-under-par heading into round three. Breen shot a four-under-par 68 while first round leader McLachlan followed his 68 with a one-under-par 71.
Veteran Jaco van Zyl could also be in the mix after shooting a 70 to go to three-under-par to sit five shots back. Robin Williams, who shared the lead overnight with Mclachlan, posted a 74 on Friday to slip to two-under-par, sharing fifth place with Rupert Kaminski, Ryan van Velzen and Matthew Spacey.
All the players will be gunning for the win on Saturday, looking to join such prestigous previous champions as Gary Player, Dale Hayes, John Bland, Tony Johnstone, Ernie Els, David Frost, Mark McNulty and Louis Oosthuizen.