Moriarty hangs tough

By Brian Keogh

Colm Moriarty produced two stunning late birdies to keep his Q-School dream on track at windy San Roque.

The Glasson man, 28, looked certain finish the day outside the vital top 30 and ties who get their cards after six rounds.

But he dug deep to recover from two crushing double bogeys early on to fire a second round 73 and share 29th place with 21 other players on one over par.

Just six shots behind leader Pablo Larrazabal, Moriarty said: "I am one under and it is a good start and leaves me in a nice position. I was just struggling with my commitment and focus out there today.

"But it is such a long week, you just have to keep giving yourself chances and try to keep the big numbers off your card."

Three over for the day with three to play, Moriarty fired a wedge to 10 feet at the seventh, his 16th, and then almost holed a four-iron for an ace at the 225-yard eighth.

Big-hitting Damian Mooney is the next best of the Irish quintet on three over par after a grinding level par 72 on the Old Course.

But he needs two good rounds to make the cut for the top 70 and ties, despite moving up nearly 30 spots to tied 94th.

Mooney said: "I birdied the last to shoot level and holed a few nice putts coming in. It is still early days and getting in the top 30 is the thing.

"I ground it out in the wind because it was tough clubbing yourself today. It is a grind at the minute but I will stay patient and keep going."

Dubliner Stephen Browne is in big trouble on five over par after a 74 while Douglas giant Peter O'Keeffe and Derry's Michael McGeady need two low rounds to survive the cut after disastrous 78s on the New Course left them near the back of the 156-man field.

Tied for 120th, Browne said: "I was always battling but I haven't holed any putts yet or hit it close yet either. I need a good round at this stage.

"I battled away and limited the damage to some extent. But it's damage to the leaderboard I need to be doing but I am just not playing well enough to do it."

O'Keeffe and McGeady know they need to turn things around quickly after getting blown out with matching six over par rounds.

O'Keeffe said: "The wind didn't bother me but I am struggling with my irons at the moment and not hitting enough greens."

McGeady struggled with his putting as he followed an early double bogey with four bogeys and confessed that he needs to find some form quickly.