McGinley stays on course

Paul McGinley’s love/hate relationship with the PGA Centenary course continued with Europe’s Ryder Cup captain delighted to make the cut in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

McGinley stays on course

McGinley added a second round 71 for a five-under-par tally and also end a run of having missed the weekend rounds in his last two appearances on the course where in 13 months he will lead Europe into competition against the US.

It left McGinley trailing nine strokes behind 43-year old Argentinean Ricardo Gonzalez, who signed for a second straight 65 to lead the event by one stroke on 14 under par.

Talented Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, touted by many observers as a future Ryder Cup star, signed for a 66 to be one stroke adrift of Gonzalez.

Shane Lowry and Gareth Maybin carded 70s while Peter Lawrie joined the duo sharing 19th place on six under par following his 67.

Lawrie was six under par after 11 holes but then dropped shots at his 13th and 16th holes ahead of a birdie at 17.

McGinley is making his ninth appearance on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course but it has been far from an easy ride for the current world No 432.

All up, he has missed the cut on four occasions, with a best finish being seventh in 2004, while in 26 rounds he has broken 70 on just four occasions.

“My golf has taken very much a back seat in recent months what with everything that has been going on since my captaincy appointment, so it’s been nice to come here to Gleneagles and be able to put aside so much that’s been going on outside the ropes and play some decent golf,” said the Dubliner.

“It gives me two more rounds to see the course up close but also two more rounds to get back to what I am also focusing on and that’s to also be a golfer in these next 13 months and not just a Ryder Cup captain,”

McGinley played the first two rounds in the company of Lowry and was suitably impressed with the reigning Portugal Masters champion’s effort off the tee.

“Shane was very impressive, hitting the ball was like a gun going off, 320-yards down the middle every time,” said McGinley.

Recent Russian Open champion Michael Hoey (68 & 72) eagled his last hole to be at four under par, while Simon Thornton (74 & 67) also a winner this season, birdied three of his closing five holes.

* Leona Maguire finished the top Irish competitor by a long way in the British Ladies Open StrokePlay Championship at Prestwick yesterday.

She closed with rounds of 74 and 76 for a 72-hole aggregate of 296 — level par.

It gave her sixth place in the final reckoning, 14 strokes behind new champion Jing Yan of China.

Chloe Ryan, who had fired herself into a reasonable position at halfway, finished with scores of 78 and 76.

Olivia Mehaffey closed with a 73 while Leona’s twin sister Lisa ended in joint 26th place on 308, with Irish champion Paula Grant one stroke back.

Gleneagles Leaderboard

(Gbr unless stated, par 72)

130 R Gonzalez (Arg) 65 65

131 B Wiesberger (Aut) 65 66

133 T Fleetwood 68 65, M Foster 66 67

134 B Koepka (USA) 68 66

135 B Rumford (Aus) 66 69, F Andersson Hed (Swe) 68 67, T Jaidee (Tha) 66 69

136 C Lee 69 67, F Molinari (Ita) 69 67, O Fisher 66 70, G Havret (Fra) 67 69

137 E Grillo (Arg) 71 66, J Parry 71 66, R Ramsay 69 68, P Lawrie 70 67, S Henry 72 65, A Quiros (Spa) 70 67

138 R Fisher 66 72, P Waring 75 63, G Maybin (Irl) 68 70, D Horsey 7068, T Lewis 67 71, P Lawrie (Irl) 71 67, D Drysdale 71 67, S Lowry (Irl) 68 70, E Pepperell 72 66, C Doak 69 69

139 M Lundberg (Swe) 70 69, M Wiegele (Aut) 69 70, A Hansen (Den) 70 69, M Nixon 68 71, J Lagergren (Swe) 68 71, S Dyson 72 67, D Fichardt (Rsa) 69 70, J Sjoholm (Swe) 68 71, S Gallacher 71 68, M Both (Aus) 69 70, T Olesen (Den) 71 68, G Bourdy (Fra) 68 71, I Garrido (Spa) 66 73, P McGinley (Irl) 68 71

140 M Tullo (Chi) 69 71, S Hansen (Den) 69 71, J Campillo (Spa) 69 71, M Baldwin 70 70, M Korhonen (Fin) 71 69, G Stal (Fra) 69 71, M Orum Madsen (Den) 70 70, M Southgate 72 68, R Jacquelin (Fra) 69 71, G Boyd 71 69, A Sullivan 67 73, R Finch 73 67, E De La Riva (Spa) 68 72, R Cabrera Bello (Spa) 71 69, M Hoey (Irl) 68 72

141 L Jensen (Den) 70 71, E Kofstad (Nor) 71 70, D Howell 71 70, N Fenwick 75 66, R Santos (Por) 69 72, D Willett 72 69, A Snobeck (Fra) 72 69, J Morrison 72 69, S Wakefield 70 71, J M Olazabal (Spa) 73 68, G Wright 69 72, M Jonzon (Swe) 71 70, S Thornton (Irl) 74 67, T Levet (Fra) 71 70, A Levy (Fra) 70 71

Missed cut

143 G Shaw (Irl) 74 69

145 D McGrane (Irl) 70 75

147 D Higgins (Irl)

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