Newton leads the charge in race for Irish Amateur prize
England's James Newton is the player to catch in the Flogas Irish Amateur Open after he moved two strokes clear during round two at Co Sligo.
The 24-year-old from Macclesfield is 10 under at the halfway stage. Newton eagled the 12th for the second day running on his way to posting 66. Overnight leader Ronan Mullarney slipped from first to second - a double bogey at the 16th derailing his round.
Four behind at the start of play, Newton ended the day at the head of affairs.
"The holes where you can hit driver, I made the most of those," Newton explained.
His eagle was the highlight of another superb round. On his first visit to Rosses Point, Newton is enjoying the experience.
"I love it," he said. "There are places where you can miss on this course. If you know where they are then you can make it stress free."
Overnight leader Ronan Mullarney ceded control with a costly double bogey, three holes from the finish. Mullarney, seeking to supplement his course record 62, twice reached double figures with birdies at 12 and 15 but came unstuck at the 16th when he missed the green to the right.
For the most part, the round had been a grind. Although Mullarney began with 11 straight pars, he did not make them in much comfort.
"My pace was really good yesterday and it wasn't today," said Mullarney, describing his round two ventures on the greens. "I left myself between three and six feet numerous times today. You can't stay holing them and I knew that."