Published: Sun, July 07, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

'Links loving' Lombard grabs Irish halfway lead

'Links loving' Lombard grabs Irish halfway lead

The tournament, hosted by Paul McGinley, has been a roaring success at the County Clare venue, and reached full capacity of more than 20,000 on Saturday as the fans streamed through the gates in time to see Robert Rock take the 54-hole lead while threatening to card just the second 59 in European Tour history, eventually posting a ten under par 60.

Really long putt on 17 and when I was walking to the second shot on 18 I had a little look at what the par was because I kind of forgot and then realised there was an eagle for 59 and the opportunities to do that don't come along really at all.

"I'd love it to be but that tournament 10 years ago was still fantastic, Shane deserved to win and he has been fantastic", remarked Rock. He wasn't going to tell me but I beat him to it.

Sharvin's five-under-par total left him four behind clubhouse leader, South Africa Zander Lombard midway through Friday's second round. "It's my best score", said Rock, who is seeking his third European Tour title. It's just more good feelings here and hopefully I can take them into the weekend.

"I really had no idea where I was standing at so to have this performance through two rounds is certainly a nice surprise", said Pepperell, who has been out of action since May's PGA Championship with a back injury.

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"You're giving up some shots if you don't play some links golf in the couple of weeks coming up to it. I know I'm on the right track".

"I personally think if you're serious about winning the Open you've got to be playing tournament golf at least before it", Harrington told The Telegraph.

"And the front nine plays the hardest nine, so you know you could make a couple of bogeys early on, which I did".

The 46-year-old is part of a strong chasing pack, which includes his fellow former Ryder Cup players Andy Sullivan, Thorbjørn Olesen - both in a share of sixth on six under - and Rafa Cabrera Bello, who lies on five under alongside defending Irish Open champion Russell Knox and Cormac Sharvin of Northern Ireland, among others.

"All in all, I think it's a great golf course, a lovely test, and really examines every part of your game".

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