Hot putter leaves Michael Hoey best of Irish in Munich

A week spent playing golf with two former Northern Ireland soccer players along with the acquisition of a very expensive putter has put Michael Hoey in contention at the BMW International Open in Munich.

Hot putter leaves Michael Hoey best of Irish in Munich

Hoey birdied his opening two holes and also the closing pair in a seven under par 65 to move a share of second place at 10-under par and only two adrift of Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello (67).

Belfast-born Hoey had been presented some time back with a $3,000 (€2,677) custom putter that he’s put to good use averaging 27.5 putts over the two German rounds.

“I was given this really expensive Scotty Cameron custom putter and after swapping the thick grip for a regular size grip it’s felt really good,” he said.

Hoey returned to competition after spending the week playing golf at La Manga with former Northern Ireland stars, John O’Neil and Sammy Clingan and nine others.

O’Neil, now aged 57, was capped 39 times and was a member of the 1982 and ’86 World Cup squad. He also had 310 games with Leicester City.

Clingan, 31 is a former Coventry captain and recently ended this season with a 56th appearances as midfielder with Scottish club Kilmarnock, and from 2006 has been capped 36 times for Northern Ireland.

Incidentally, the 11 out in La Manga with Hoey have backed him at 150-1 to win this week.

Peter Lawrie repaid a sponsor’s invitation birding his closing two holes in a score of 67 to move to seven under par and guarantee himself an eighth pay cheque in 15 starts this season.

And Lawrie like Hoey was singing the praise of his putter, and one he had tucked away in his Dublin shed that he had taken to Perth, Australia two years ago and used to secure his Tour card for the 2014 season.

Shane Lowry finally shook off any lingering trans-Atlantic jet-lag birding his closing two holes in a five under par 67 to be sharing 26th place at five under par.

“It was a good cut to make given my lack of sleep this week but I managed to stay patient these two days and that was the main thing while to birdie the last two holes was a real bonus,” he said.

A stunning third round 67 shot Cormac Sharvin into a one-stroke lead at the Brabazon Trophy at Hollinwell in Nottingham and today bids to become first Irishman since Rory McIlroy in 2006 to win the prestigious tournament - the English open amateur stroke-play championship..

The 22-year-old Ardglass rising star didn’t drop a stroke yesterday as he overhauled a five-shot deficit on early pace-setter Ben Taylor.

Naas’ Jack Hume is also very much still contention and sits two shots off compatriot Sharvin going into the final 18 holes today.

Paul Dunne (Greystones) and Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) could also still yet mount a late challenge for the trophy with the pair sitting tied for ninth on two-under par and three strokes back from Sharvin.

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