Naas’ Conor O’Rourke made six birdies in a two-under par 70 to trail the leaders by just two shots at the halfway stage of the European Amateur Championship at Walton Heath
It was another day of spectacular scoring at the Surrey venue where Spain’s Victor Pastor (64) was joined at the top on nine-under par by Switzerland’s Jeremy Freiberghaus (66) and Australia’s Dylan Perry( 69), the runner-up in last week’s Amateur Championship.
O’Rourke played his last six holes in two under par to share sixth place on seven-under par with The Island’s Paul McBride a shot further back, tied for 19th on five-under after a five-birdie 69.
The leaders are a shot ahead of England’s Matthew Jordan (68) and German’s Matthias Schmid, who rocketed 72 places to tied fourth thanks to a nine-under 63, the low round of the championship so far.
They’re part of a very crowded leaderboard with almost 30 players within five shots of the lead, creating a highly competitive atmosphere.
“It’s always good to see a lot of bunched players,” said Perry. “Everyone is playing well and you’ve just got to keep doing the right things and put the scores on the board.”
The nine players on seven-under include O’Rourke and defending champion Luca Cianchetti of Italy who was round in 67 and England’s Josh McMahon, who matched his score with a bogey-free card.
Tramore’s Robin Dawson birdied the 16th and 17th but a 73 saw him slip 23 places to tied 32nd on three under with Castle’s Alex Gleeson (69), Warrenpoint’s Colm Campbell (72) and Tullamore's Stuart Grehan (72) a shot further back on two-under 142
The field will be cut to the leading 60 players and ties after Friday’s third round.
Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell and Naas’ Jonny Yates are a shot outside the projected mark on level par 144 after 72s with Whitehead’s John-Ross Galbraith (70) a shot further back.
Laytown and Bettystown’s Thomas Mulligan is four shots outside the projected one-under cut after a 77.
European Amateur Championship, Walton Heath (Old, Par 72)
Cut by top 60 Players + ties after 3 rounds
T1 PASTOR, Victor (Córdoba) 71 64 135; FREIBURGHAUS, Jeremy (Domat Ems) 69 66 135; T PERRY, Dylan (The Vintage) 66 69 135
T6 O’ROURKE, Conor (Naas) 67 70 137
T19 MCBRIDE, Paul (The Island) 70 69 139
T32 DAWSON, Robin (Tramore) 68 73 141
T39 GLEESON, Alex (Castle) 73 69 142
T39 CAMPBELL, Colm (Warrenpoint) 70 72 142
T39 GREHAN, Stuart (Tullamore) 70 72 142
T64 PURCELL, Conor (Portmarnock) 72 72 144
T64 YATES, Jonathan (Naas) 72 72 144
T77 GALBRAITH, John-Ross (Whitehead) 75 70 145
T94 MULLIGAN, Thomas (Laytown & Bettystown) 70 77 147