Saturday, June 12, 2010


Drummond and Lyle on leader Farry's tail with a round to go

Frenchman Marc Farry will take a one-stroke lead over Scots Ross Drummond and Sandy Lyle into the final round of the Handa Irish Senior Open presented by Fáilte Ireland after firing a two under par 70 at Carton House Golf Club today.
The 50 year old made the most of his length off the tee, posting birdies on the fourth, eighth and 13th holes to leapfrog two-time Major Champion Lyle, who battled to a level par 72 over the Montgomerie Course.
Lyle had started the day with a one stroke lead over Farry after an opening round course record-equalling 66 but the former Open and Masters Champion struggled with his short game, dropping shots on the ninth and 11th before hitting back with two birdies in the final three holes.
His playing partner Farry had threatened to pull away from the field but dropped a shot on the 17th to finish on seven under par for the tournament, as he attempts to add a first Senior Tour title to the BMW International Open he won on The European Tour in 1996.
“I thought I played pretty steady and only had one bogey on the 17th when I three putted it but I missed a lot of putts,” said Farry.
“It’s incredible I’m still leading after missing so many putts. I hit the ball well though and was close to the pin on a number of occasions but I just couldn’t convert those chances.
“When I was eight under with five to play including two reachable par fives and two short par fours I thought my plan was working. So I was a bit annoyed I didn’t take advantage. The only blemish was my putting. It’s great being back in contention though.”
Farry, whose last professional victory was in the French PGA Championship in 2000, will have strong competition from Lyle and Drummond who are also chasing their own maiden Senior Tour title.
Lyle, who was one of Ian Woosnam’s Assistant Captains at The 2006 Ryder Cup at the nearby K Club, said he was frustrated with his round and was relieved to still be in contention.
“My short game really let me down badly today,” said Lyle. “My bogeys were from not getting up and down from the fringe. I only made one birdie on the par fives, which was the last hole, so 72 was better than the 74 I looked like I was getting with three to play.
“I had a nice putt from 25 feet on the 16th – the only one I holed today. I had 33 putts and the short game was ragged but I got round in 72 and I’m still in the mix. I’m still only one off the lead but the pack is closer together. It will be a battle tomorrow but if that’s my worst round today I’ll be quite happy.”
Drummond, who has finished runner up three times on the Senior Tour, fired four birdies in the last six holes to sign for a 67 - the lowest round of the day.
He said: “I drove it well, was consistent with my irons and putted really nicely and when you get all three going together you’re going to have a good day.
“I made seven birdies today which shows I’m putting well. If you don’t drive it well round here you can drop shots really easily so the key tomorrow will be keeping it in play. I think I’m probably going to need another 67 or 68 tomorrow. It would be nice to go out tomorrow and play with confidence and hole some putts.”
Australian Mike Harwood and Englishman Nick Job are two shots off the pace on five under par after rounds of 69, sharing fourth place with Englishman Glenn Ralph who posted a 71.
Irishmen Eamonn Darcy and Des Smyth both eagled the last hole but are some way off the pace, with Darcy signing for a two under par 70 to lie in a share of 18th place on level par with Smyth a shot further back on one over par following a 73.
Former Irish Senior Open champion and Ryder Cup player Costantino Rocca is also level par after a 71, as is defending champion Ian Woosnam, the former World Number One, who 12 months ago came from six shots back on the final day to claim the title after a play-off with Bob Boyd.
Another former Ryder Cup Captain, Sam Torrance, posted a level par 72 to stay on two over par for the tournament.



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