Damien McGrane was forced to become Mr Angry to get his Ladbrokes.com Irish PGA bid back on track at windy Seapoint.
The European Tour ace, 39, fired a two under par 70 to trail leaders Neil Manchip and Damian Mooney by two shots on three under par.
But it took a missed three-foot par putt on the par-three ninth to get him fired up as he eagled the 10th and birdied the 12th to race back into the mix.
Happy with his day despite a late bogey at the 15th, McGrane said: “I made eagle on the 10th but that was coming off a bit of bad temper.
“Nine was a good hole today. I hit a four iron that went right on the breeze and then shot right, which meant it was 20 yards right of the green.
“As I expected I hit a very good shot to three feet and I was very disappointed not to sink the putt after such a good pitch. I was fuming.
“So at the 10th I just blasted a driver into oblivion and a five wood from 275 yards after it and holed a 10 footer.”
He picked up another shot with a five wood to three feet at the 12th but after that late bogey at the 15th he knows he can’t afford to give away many shots over the weekend.
He said: “There are plenty of chances out there and I am not picking them all up, which is disappointing. But I am certainly in position to take them.
“I think I have a low number in me somewhere and I just have to get it out before Sunday night.”
Overnight leader Mooney followed his opening 66 with a 73 on a tough, cold day at the Louth links to top the leaderboard on five under.
Happy with his total despite dropped shots at the 15th, 17th and 18th, Mooney said: “I suppose I hit it wee bit closer yesterday, it was a wee bit more straightforward.
“The pins were tucked away on the backs of greens today - the likes of 17 and 18, which were very tough against the breeze. I played well. Happy enough. If you gave me five under two days ago I’d have taken it.”
He was joined at the top by teaching professional Neil Manchip, 37, who erased a couple of sloppy bogeys with birdies at two par fives coming home for a battling 72.
“It played very different today,” said Manchip, who began his round on the 10th. “My iron play was very poor early on and I struggled to find rhythm. I bogeyed the 13th and then bogeyed the first with a terrible seven iron from a perfect drive.
“I nearly hit it in the hazard off the second. I was just hitting two many pokey shots so I decided to swing easier and I made a good up and down for par there and got it going from there and played nicely, with less effort, and got back into a rhythm.”
Winner of the title at The Island in 1999, Manchip travelled with Seapoint with low expectations as he hasn’t played a 72 hole event since the 2006 Irish PGA at Druids Heath.
“I just came to play a four round tournament and enjoy it,” he said.
Lying three shots clear of his pupil Shane Lowry, who shot a 72 for a two under par total, he’s clearly enjoying the fact that he’s got his nose in front for now.
And while he refuses to look ahead to a potential title showdown with the man he coaches, he cheerily admitted that he wouldn’t be giving Lowry any tips if he spotted a swing error coming down the stretch.
Talented Connemara man David Mortimer, the 2006 champion, hit a his second 70 on the trot to trail Mooney and Manchip by a stroke on four under with eigning Ulster champion Barrie Trainor a shot further back alongide McGrane after a fine 71.
Lowry was suffering from a slight cold but he was pleased with his long iron play as he came back from a bogey-bogey start to fire a 72 that left him three off the pace on two under alongside money list leader David Higgins (71) and Jimmy Bolger (70).
“I got off to a bad start,” Lowry said of a three-putt at the first and a failed attempt to chip and putt from short of the second. “But I hit a few lovely long irons into the wind, so I’m very happy with the shots I hit today. Hopefully I can get a few more putts to drop on the weekend.
“It was a great test today. There wasn’t much wind yesterday and I was disappointed with two under. But I am actually quite pleased with level par because you could easily have shot 75 or 76 today without doing much wrong.
“Seapoint is a good test. I found myself hitting a lot of mid and long irons which is always a sign of a good test of golf. It’s great for me to get ready for the Dunhill Links in a couple of weeks.”
Mooney looks like the man to catch, though Bolger was highly pleased with a two under par 70 where the highlight was an eagle three at the sixth, where he followed a big drive with a 225 yard three iron to five feet.
“We’ll see what happens. I’m not playing much golf,” Bolger said. “I’ve been playing in this for 23 years, just like Damian Mooney. I started with Damian and we know each other very well. He’s a great player. I can’t understand why he’s not on tour to be honest. As you all know, he’s a class ball striker.”
Local favourite Des Smyth’s bid for a seventh Irish PGA title suffered a blow as he slipped five shots off the pace after a disappointing 75 on a day when just seven players broke par compared to 23 on the opening day.
“I didn’t play well so I am not surprised I shot 75,” said 57-year old Smyth, who designed the course with his lifelong friend Declan Branigan. “I started badly and never really played like I did yesterday, so I was always on the back foot. In the end I was quite happy to shoot 75.
“I drove the ball poorly so I was never in the right place and I didn’t putt as well as I did yesterday. That’s the difference. The course was longer today though.
“You had to hit a lot of two irons and four woods into some of the long par fours. It has started to play much tougher.”
Ladbrokes.com PGA Irish Championship, Seapoint GC (Par 72)
After 36 holes (Click here for third round tee-times)
139 D Mooney (Unatt) 66, 73; N Manchip (GUI National Academy) 67, 72.
140 D Mortimer (Fore Ireland) 70, 70.
141 B Trainor (Team Ireland) 70, 71; D McGrane (Unattached) 71, 70.
142 D Higgins (Waterville) 71 71, J Bolger (Kilkenny) 72, 70, S Lowry (Esker Hills) 70, 72
144 G Robinson (St Helens Bay) 72 72, D Smyth (Unattached) 69 75,
145 G Dunlea (Adare Manor) 71 74, J Quinlivan (Unattached) 75 70, S Clinton (Portsalon) 72 73, B McElhinney (Team Ireland) 69 76, R Giles (Greenore) 71, 74, M Staunton (Fore Ireland) 72, 73.
146 M O’Sullivan (Ashbourne) 70 76, R Creamer (Tuam) 71 75. J Kelly (St Margaret’s) 73, 73, E Brady (Clontarf) 71, 75, D McWilliams (Unatt) 71, 75, P Devine (Royal Dublin) 70, 76
147 J Murray (Hollystown) 78 69, J Dwyer (Ashbourne) 75 72, D Ryan (Cahir Park) 73 74. C Mallon (Narin & Portnoo) 72, 75
148 M McDermott (Leopardstown) 71 77, C Moriarty (Donaghadee) 75 73, P Stevenson (Portadown) 76 72, N Howley (Balbriggan) 74 74, J Dignam (Slade Valley) 73 75,
149 K Fahey (GUI Nat Academy) 71 78, M O’Shea (Callan) 76 73, B McGovern (Headfort) 71 78, L Bowler (Wexford) 74 75, C McNamara (Limerick) 71 78, M Allan (Pure Golf at Leopardstown) 74 75, E McLoughlin (Wicklow) 70 79, M Mulryan (Athenry) 72 77,
150 M Flanagan (Mt Temple) 76 74, P Hanna (Lurgan) 74 76, P Walton (Fore Ireland) 73, 77
151 Kevin Dorrian (Scrabo) 75 76, D Walker (Foxrock) 74 77, T Higgins (Fore Ireland) 78 73, S McMonagle (Edmonstown) 71 80, P Jones (Coollattin) 76 75, P Martin (Riverside) 76 75, M Collins (Fore Ireland) 78, 73, E Logue (Hilton) 76, 75, M Twitchett (Hilton) 76, 75. L Walker (Dundalk) 74, 77
152 G Cullen (Beaverstown) 70 82, D Gleeson (Old Conna) 75 77, C Carroll (Bray) 73 79, G Loughrey (Roganstown) 76 76,
153 L Harrington (Limerick) 74, 79. G Lunny (Naas) 75 78, J Murray (Malahide) 76 77, J Glynn (Dun Laoghaire) 75 78, D Mc Namara (Portmarnock) 74 79, P Geraghty (Unattached) 74 79, B Kerley (Greenlife) 74 79, JP Dolan (Dunfanaghy) 75, 78
154 W O’Callaghan (www.wayneocallaghangolf.com) 76 78, D Bell (Kellys Golf Centre), 73 81, B Cosgrove (Athy DR) 82 72, C Jelly (Dungannon) 76 78, P Dooley (Cork) 77 77. J Gibson (Killymoon) 74, 80
155 G Wardlow (Edenderry Golf Academy) 75 80, L Boyd (Donaghadee) 78 77, R Doran (R Co Down) 73 82, R Whitford (Knock) 77 78,
156 P Collins (Galgorm Castle) 79 77, O Grogan (Unattached) 79 77, G Byrne (Nuremore) 76, 80, St Fitzpatrick (Enniscorthy) 81, 75, R Donagher (Ardee) 77, 79
157 M Heinemann (Skellig Bay) 75 82, P McGuirk (Co Louth) 77 80, M McTernan (Co Sligo) 74 83,
158 P Masterson (Coollattin) 77 81, C Hughes (Unatt) 81 77, P McCarroll (Massereene) 81 77, E Martin (Beaverstown) 74 84,
159 J Scullion (R Co Down) 78 81, D Walsh (Wexford) 79 80, R Dervin (Balbriggan) 73 86, G Egan (Naas DR) 80 79, PMcGrath (P&M Golf Superstore) 83 76, D Carroll (Seapoint) 78, 81, K Grealy (Athlone) 74, 85.
160 C Porter (East Cork) 76 84, G Massey (PGA National) 78 82,
161 M McGivern (Belvoir Pk) 78 83,
162 BR Sherwood (Castlemartyr) 78 84, P Hannan (Co Meath) 80 82, W Noble (Co Cavan) 79 83,
163 T Rice (Unattached) 84 79, J Greenaway (Banbridge) 82, 81
164 S Galvin (Curragh) 77 87, D McQuillan (Castlebar) 81 83, D Mooney (Carr Golf Services) 80 84,
165 P Hickey (Cork) 81 84,
166 B Quigley (Carton House) 83, 83
167 G McShea (Edmonstown) 81, 86
168 B O’Boyle (Killarney) 84 84,
173 F Lacey (Newlands) 89 84,
N/R P McClelland (Unatt) 76 NR, P McCanny (Birr Golf shop) 84 NR, S Wilson (R Tara) 84 NR. P Vaughan (Ardglass) 79 NR, D Hayes (Dungarvan) 80, NR., B McDermott (Castlecomer) 76, NR, P McDonald (Westmanstown) 78, NR
RTD P McGonagle (Greenore) 79, Retd.; M Kavanagh (Stackstown) 82, Retd.