Outlook is still healthy for pace-setter Neil Manchip
It was a case of 'physician, heal thyself' for Neil Manchip at Seapoint yesterday as he recovered with two birdies in the final four holes of his second-round 72 to share the lead with Damien Mooney on five-under at the Ladbrokes Irish Professional Championship.
Manchip (37), the GUI National Director of Coaching and Shane Lowry's swing doctor, struggled on his opening 10 holes, then diagnosed the problem and came up with a cure.
The crunch came after Seapoint's par-four first hole (his 10th), where the Scot was particularly annoyed to waste “the perfect drive” by hitting “a terrible seven-iron” into rough left of the green as he carded his second bogey of the day.
“My iron play was very poor early on and I struggled to find rhythm,” Manchip explained. “Then I nearly hit it in the hazard at the second (a par three). I was just playing too many pokey shots so I decided to swing easier, make less effort, and it went well from there.”
The two leaders enter the weekend one ahead of David Mortimer (35), winner of this championship at Druid's Heath in 2006.
Anger was the best medicine for Damien McGrane as a 70 lifted him into a tie for fourth with Warrenpoint native Barrie Trainor (29) on three-under.
“I was furious. At 10, I just blasted a driver into oblivion; then a five-wood from 275 yards to 10 feet and holed it for eagle,” said McGrane. “I played far better today and there's plenty of chances out there.”