McGinley woe in Hong Kong

Peter Lawrie and Damien McGrane scorched to rounds in the sixties as Paul McGinley crashed out of the UBS Hong Kong Open.

Lawrie hit an incredible six under par 64 to move up to 14th place at Fanling with McGrane tied for eighth after a sensational 66.

But McGinley made an early exit in his last strokeplay event of the year - missing the cut by four shots after a three over par 73.

The Irish ace managed four birdies in his round.

But five bogeys and a double bogey summed up a disappointing day and an even more disappointing year.

Apart from his role in Europe's Ryder Cup win at the K Club, it's been a disastrous 2006 the Dubliner.

Since he won the Volvo Masters last year, the fiery Irish star has slumped from 18th to 57th in the world.

But he will have to wait until the Barbados World Cup at the Sandy Lane Resort, where he partners Padraig Harrington for the 11th year in a row from December 7-10, to see any improvement in his game.

McGinley was joined on an early trip to the airport by South African Retief Goosen, who missed out by a shot after a second round 71, and Kilkenny's Gary Murphy.

But there were no problems for Spain's Jose Manuel Lara, who hit a 66 to top the leaderboard by a shot on 10 under par from French star Gregory Bourdy.

Lara said: "Today I played better than yesterday which is quite good and to stay as leader is nice.

"I have been playing well the last two months and have led the Majorca Classic and Volvo Masters and I am feeling confident."

Kells star McGrane got his 2007 European Tour campaign off to a bright start by adding a 66 to his opening 68.

The touring pro for Knightsbrook Golf and Country Club is still chasing his maiden European Tour win and is just four shots off the pace on six under thanks to a round that contained six birdies and just two bogeys.

Lawrie, who narrowly missed out on the chance to play in the Volvo Masters this year, leapt from 81st place to 14th on five under after carding seven birdies and just one mistake in his 64.

Like McGrane, defending champion Colin Montgomerie also hit a 66 to get within five shots of leader Lara going into the weekend.

The Scot is hoping to continue his proud record of winning somewhere around the world every season since 1993.