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The 1999 Open Champion carded a round of 70 on an overcast day with blustery winds and some rain too, which made for a proper links test for the second round of the OFX Irish Legends.

Lawrie began with a birdie at the opening hole but would make it to the turn level-par, he would still be level through 12 holes – but two birdies from there on would ensure his two-under-par round and a 7-under-par total heading into the final day.

“It’s never easy when it’s blowing a little, the ground’s obviously pretty firm and the wind’s up, so getting the ball high or getting the ball anywhere near the hole is pretty tough.

“You’re going to have to putt from a long way away, which is what it’s all about. So, it becomes about speed with the putter, and I did that pretty well with that all day.
70 was a good score this afternoon.

“Driving the ball I used to really struggle with and it was the worst part of my game for 15 years, but now I drive the ball really well and I take advantage of that.

“We only really had the last hole when it started raining, so we’ve had a good draw this week to be honest. Some weeks that goes for you and some weeks it doesn’t, that’s just how it goes.

“I’ve done this for a long time. Whether you’re leading or whether you’re coming from behind, you’ve got a job to do. You’ve got to get the ball in the fairway, get the ball on the green, and hopefully hold a few putts – this game doesn’t get any more difficult than that. If it’s breezy again tomorrow, then one or two under par is going to be a good score.”

Patrik Sjöland leads the chase behind Lawrie and sits just two shots off the lead after he signed for a level-par round of 72.

Greg Owen is in third place, on four-under-par, following his Friday round of 70 – while there are three players on -3: Simon Khan, the defending champion Peter Baker and the man leading local hopes – Gary Murphy.

Murphy carded the joint best round of the day with a 4-under-par 68 – he was level through 11 holes but made a big impact on the way back in. His round was matched by Jeev Milkha Singh whose 68 propelled him up into a share of 7th place, five shots adrift of the leader ahead of the final round.

Jarmo Sandelin carded a 1-over-par round of 73, but had the shot of the day – hitting a hole-in-one on the par 3 17th hole.

The OFX Irish Legends is a 54-hole event which concludes on Saturday.


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