Paul McGinley was the only Irish player to make the cut in the Open de Andalucia, which should come as no great surprise given the conditions.
A running course with firm greens and light rough is right up McGinley’s street and his one over 71 was enough to make the one under par cut on the mark.
“The course is playing great and I love the way it’s set-up because it’s firm and bouncy. If you do miss the fairway you are only coming out of inch-high rough to hard greens,” said McGinley, who is threatening to skip the Middle East Swing next season because of the long, soft courses and deep rough.
“If we had soft greens here like we had in the Middle East Swing there would be a cut of four to five-under. For that reason I am really enjoying the golf course and looking forward to the weekend.”
Shane Lowry shot a 10 over 80 to miss the cut by a mile on 15-over in just his second event after a three-month absence from the fairways with a fractured right wrist.
Clearly under prepared, he dropped 10 shots in a seven-hole stretch and will be hoping to see some improvement in the Hassan II Trophy in Morocco next week.
Insisting his wrist is fully healed, Lowry appears to be feeling under pressure with his two-year exemption for winning the 2009 Irish Open set to expire in November.
“Have to park myself on the range for the weekend,” he wrote on Twitter. “Seriously need to find something before next week!”
Dutchman Maarten Lafeber (65), Dane Jeppe Huldahl (66) and Swedish rookie Rikard Karlberg (67) share the lead at eight-under par.
Darren Clarke (72) and Damien McGrane (71) missed the cut by two strokes on one-over with Michael Hoey (71) a shot futher back. Gareth Maybin (77) ended on five over.