Paul McGinley slammed Adare Manor as a monster - but it didn’t frighten Peter Lawrie.
As McGinley sweated for a one over par 73, Spanish Open champion Lawrie birdied four of the last six holes for a brilliant one-under par 71.
Riding a wave of confidence after his first win two weeks ago, Lawrie said: “I knew my game was pretty good and I just had to stay patient. I did that until the last couple of holes and I got rewarded.”
Three over par after 12, Lawrie birdied the 13th, 14th and 17th before firing a wedge to six feet at the last to break into red figures.
But McGinley and playing partner Darren Clarke complained that Adare is almost too tough a test since it was lengthened last year.
McGinley said: “It is a hell of a tough golf course now and they have overdone it with the new tees. It has become a monster golf course.
“The length of second shots doesn’t match up to the size of the greens, especially when they are firm.
“I thought I played well but the short game wasn’t sharp enough. Maybe it’s lack of tournaments because I have played just two events in the last six weeks.”
Lawrie agreed that the Robert Trent Jones course can be punishing with deep rough making it tough to get to the green.
He said: “You have to hit fairways and hit he ball a long way. If you miss by a couple of inches it is very difficult to get the ball close and that’s why people aren’t making birdies.”
Clarke battled bravely for a level par 72 but complained that the fans want to see more birdies.
The Ulsterman said: “It is disappointing, when you see a fantastic Robert Trent Jones design and you are hitting three-irons to flags that are completely inaccessible.
“It takes all the fun away. It is difficult for all the players and the people coming in to watch.
“They come to watch us make birdies and unfortunately, with the golf course are difficult as it was, it’s just not happening.”