Sunday, November 27, 2011


FLASHBACK TO 2006 ... and it's Peter Lloyd, about to retire as PGA Scottish Region secretary, with Scotland's winning team in the PGAs of Europe international championship at Roda GC, Murcia in Spain - (left to right) Sam Cairns, Craig Lee and Jim Irvine. Image by Cal Carson Golf Agency.

A five-under-par 67 by Irvine's Jim McKinnon has put Scotland in the title picture in a share of fourth place at the halfway stage of the PGAs of Europe international team golf championship at Vale do Lobo Golf Club on Portugal's Algarve coastline today.
McKinnon slashed eight shots off his first-round effort  while Ladybank's Alan Lockhart repeated his opening score of 70.
Chris Currie (Caldwell), who shot a 79 on Saturday, had the Scots' non-counting score for a second day, a 75, under the best two from three to count daily format.
Scotland began the day nine shots behind England and a bogey on the opening hole from McKinnon did not bode well for their chances of making an impact on the tournament. But McKinnon rallied immediately with successive birdies and added another in the outward nine. Another followed at the tenth but was cancelled out by a bogey at the 11th before the Ayrshire man ended the round with a flourish by carding three birdies in the last four holes to post a five-under-par 67.

McKinnon was understandably delighted with his round and the change in his team’s fortunes. “I’m very happy with way we’ve turned it round,” he said. “At one stage England were 11-under and almost out of sight. But things can change very quickly in this format and we’re back in contention.
“I’m also pleased with my round. The greens were a lot firmer today and I made lots of chances but was unable to take them all.”
One such was at the par-five 18th when McKinnon needed to hole a five-foot putt for an eagle.
Scotland's Sunday team total was 137 was not matched by any other country in the 26-team field and was eight shots better than their Saturday aggregate.
Scotland used to have a great record in this tournament over the years and McKinnon himself was in the last winning Tartan Tour trio at Roda in Spain in 2006.
It's tight at the top with two rounds to go. Scotland, tied with Ireland's John Kelly, Eamon Brady and David Ryan for second place on 282, are two shots behind the three joint leaders - France, Spain and Italy.
England (Craig Goodfellow, Chris Gill and Gary Brown), the first-round leaders, slipped back to sixth place with a second-round total of 147 for 283. Goodfellow and Gill, who came straight to Portugal from Turkey, had done amazingly well on the first day with borrowed clubs and shoes and almost everything else - their luggage and clubs did not make the journey at the same speed as they did.
But the borrowed clubs lost their magic for the English pair on Round 2 and Goodfellow, a brilliant 66 for starters, slumped to an 78 on Sunday.
Wales (Simon Edwards, Matthew Parsley and Andrew Barnett) are joint 13th on 296.

Par 288 (4x72)
280 France (Bertrand Cornut, Stephane Lahary, Benjamin Nicolay) 140-140, Spain (Francisco Cea, Ismael Del Castillo, Fernando Roca) 142-138, Italy (Zeke Martinez, Fernando Pasqualucci, Massimo Florioli)138-142.
282 Scotland (Jim McKinnon 67, Alan Lockhart  70, Chris Currie 75) 145-137, Ireland (John Kelly 71, Eamon Brady 72, David Ryan 77) 139-143.
283 England (Chris Gill 72, Gary Brown 75, Craig Goodfellow 78) 136-147.
Other totals:
290 Denmark.
291 Portugal, Austria.
292 South Africa, Netherlands.
295 Germany.
296 Wales (Simon Edwards 72, Andrew Barnett 73, Matthew Parsley 80), Poland, Switzerland, Sweden.
298 United Arab Emirates, Norway, Belgium.
302 Czech Republic.
307 Croatia.
309 Iceland, Slovenia.
312 Finland.
314 Hungary, Russia.



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