McGrane ’right to give Lara heads up’

Damien McGrane confessed he felt bound to advise Jose Manuel Lara he had caught his caddy trying to hide an illegal 15th club in bushes during Thursday’s first round of the BMW International Open.

Lara was eventually disqualified while Mathias Vinson, his Argentinian-born caddy has been banned ‘indefinitely’ from working on the European Tour.

McGrane had been last to tee off at the second but thought it strange when Vinson, carrying Lara’s bag, headed into thick bushes at the back of the tee.

Both Lara and Sweden’s Peter Hedblom were oblivious to the incident as they strode down the fairway.

However, McGrane and his Australian-born caddy John Hort quizzed Vinson over his actions, not believing the visit to the bushes was a ‘call of nature’.

Lara sought out chief referee John Paramour with McGrane believing the Spaniard would be handed a four-stroke penalty. It was not until later on Thursday night he learnt the Spaniard had been disqualified.

While he struggled to maintain concentration for the remainder of his first round, McGrane put the incident behind him to post a second round 66 and get back to two under par.

Sweden’s Joel Sjoholm chipped-in twice for eagle in a round of 66 to head the event by two shots on 11 under par.

Dubliner Paul McGinley is well in position to end a seven-year winless drought after adding a 70 to move into a four-way share of second place on nine under par.

McGinley was one over for his outward nine but went to one under when he holed a 15-foot putt for eagle at his 12th before saving par with a 12-foot putt at the last.

However, it all meant another night in his hotel room with an ice pack resting on his troublesome knee for some 30 minutes.

The triple Ryder Cup-winning star was spotted ordering a bucket of ice at the bar of his hotel after having dinner with England’s Anthony Wall.

“It’s something I have do every night and it’s no problem,” explained McGinley.

“What I am more excited about is the weekend as I’ve got myself in a really good position and really happy with these new fairway woods that are giving my game a new dimension.”

More in this section

Ireland's Top 10 Hidden Gems

Ten of the best golf courses in Ireland that too few people know about.

Read Here

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox