McGovern leads PGA Professional Championship at Luttrellstown
 Brendan McGovern in action at Luttrellstown Castle

Brendan McGovern in action at Luttrellstown Castle

Brendan McGovern is bearing the standard for the host nation and golfers of an advanced vintage at the halfway stage of the Titleist and FootJoy PGA Professional Championship.

The Irishman, who is a member of the European Senior Tour and lies 31 in the current rankings, leads the field by a shot on seven-under-par after putting Luttrellstown Castle’s back nine to the sword.

Scores

Beginning the second round on one-under and having doubled that by the time he reached the turn, the 51-year-old by-passed the inconvenience of going through the gears and went straight into overdrive.

Three successive birdies followed and, supplemented by two more at the 14th and 17th, he posted a bogey-free round of six-under.

It maintains a rich seam of form and, commenting on his round and recent displays, McGovern, who is attached to Headfort Golf Club, said: “I really didn’t miss a shot today to be honest. I played pretty good and I putted well.

“I finished third, third and second in my last three events in England and France.

“And I’m playing alright at the minute. I shot 63 last week in France and I don’t see why I can’t carry on my good form over the next two days.

Given the quality of the players snapping at his heels in pursuit of the £10,000 winner’s cheque, that’s a necessity.

The chasing pack includes two previous winners of the tournament, Chris McDonnell and Craig Goodfellow, champions in 2014 and 2011 respectively.

Goodfellow, who is attached to Carlisle Golf Centre, lies tied fourth with Caldwell Golf Club’s Christopher Currie on three-under.

McDonnell, meanwhile, is just a shot shy of the leader after his round of seven-under proved the best of the day and the tournament thus far.

There was no hint of the golfing pyrotechnics to come when the pro from Golf at Goodwood, began his round at the tenth.

A birdie at his second hole, the 11th, was cancelled out by a bogey at the next. Approaching the turn, however, he began to create a head of steam.

He completed his front nine with successive birdies and then added another four in the next seven holes before more than atoning for a bogey at his penultimate hole with an eagle.

Bookended by the two former champions and Scotland’s Currie is the latter’s compatriot, Paul O’Hara.

In comparison with his fellow challengers, North Lanarkshire Leisure’s O’Hara is very much the new kid in town. Not that it shows.

O’Hara, who qualified as a PGA professional last year and is making his debut in the tournament, posted a round of one-under to lie three shots adrift of McGovern on four-under.