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McGinley stays on track with a cool performance

Paul McGinley colourfully compares his new beginning in golf to that of a jockey. He must keep a tight rein if his playing career is to go the distance.

After a sixth operation on his left knee last November, the diminutive Dubliner, now 43, must resist the temptation to beat balls and choose his tournaments carefully.

The keyword is quality — and McGinley showed that in abundance in Malaga yesterday as a sweet second round 66 sent him soaring up the leaderboard at The Open de Andalucia, only his second outing since undergoing surgery.

This stirring effort lifted McGinley into a share of ninth place on six-under, four off the blistering pace set by sturdy South African Louis Oosthuizen, 27, and England's hugely-impressive Tour rookie Sam Hutsby, 21, after both equalled the course record 63 which was set earlier by James Morrison.

McGinley actually played with Oosthuizen over the first 36 holes of the King Hassan Trophy in Morocco last week when his ball-striking had looked as impressive as that of his playing partner.

Yet he couldn't buy a putt in Rabat and missed the cut, while Oosthuizen surged on into second place behind Rhys Davies. Instead of heading home, McGinley stayed on at the weekend to work on his putting and his labour bore fruit during the opening two rounds in Andalucia.

Gareth Maybin (who shot three-under 67 yesterday), Darren Clarke (68) and Michael Hoey (69) all went into the weekend tied 39th on two-under.

Belfast Telegraph

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