Hoey Makes It Seven Cuts In Succession With Inspirng British Masters Showing

Hillside …

A clealy revitalised Michael Hoey made it seven new season cuts in succession with a five-under par tally heading to the weekend rounds of the storm-affected British Masters at Hillside.

An electrical storm late morning lashed the course just after Hoey had bogeyed his 16th, forcing a 75-minute delay and with the Belfast golfer emerging from a short ‘snooze’ to par his 17th and hole a birdie on 18 in a round of 71.

Hoey, 40 left the course just inside the top-20 and seven shots behind England’s Matt Wallace who posted scores of 65 and 67 for the 29-year old’s 12-under par total.

Wallace won three times last year and had it not been for Francesco Molinari winning The Open, the Londoner could have been ‘2018 Golfer of the Year’.

Michael Hoey and fellow Ulsterman and former Challenge Tour player, Chris Selfridge who is now Hoey’s caddy. (Photo @tourmiss)

And while the World No. 36 targets a fourth Tour picture, it’s the ‘bigger picture’ Wallace has set his focus.

“If I look at the bigger picture and I go the next three or four years, I want to be competing,” he said

“It’s very similar to kind of if you think about Francesco (Molinari). Three years ago, he wasn’t where he was now, and he’s taken that different approach, his own approach, and I’ll have mine.

“I want to be doing what he’s doing, Ryder Cups and majors and competing at every single event pretty much.”

Hoey’s focus is more immediate and that’s getting back onto the main European Tour, and he’s going about that quietly having made every halfway cut since February’s ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia.

“I had a three-and-a-half footer for par when the siren sounded and then came back to hole the putt and then I hit a nice 134-yard pitching wedge at the last to 10-feet and knocked that it,” he said.

“It was good in a way we had the stoppage as I was losing my rhythm a little bit but then Chris (Selfridge – caddy) has been great as he helped keep me calm because the greens are all different in terms of firmness.

“So, it led to me seeing the ball go over the back of the greens while on other occasions the ball would bounce on and other time’s they were short, so I was getting a bit frustrated and that’s where Chris has been great.

“Also, I had a bit of a sleep during the break as us old guys need daytime sleep (smiling) as I had been up around 4am and the usual story.

“Overall, I am very pleased as these two rounds have been so much better than last week when I led the first round on the Challenge Tour in Spain but then you can see the scoring has been low already and that’s sure to continue over the weekend.

“So, to do any damage to you have to be quite low over the closing two rounds and instead of hanging in there with one-under scores, you are going to need five and six under to be right up there.

“And in saying that, I’m excited about the weekend as I’ve discovered to play good golf again and I am not just saying that as I have been a lot more consistent now.”

Joining Hoey over the weekend is fellow Irishman Paul Dunne and with the 2017 British Masters winner signing off for four birdies in a 69 for a four-under par total.

“It was very cold out there this morning and aside from that we didn’t get any rain until just after they called us off the course,” he said.

“The thing is I played rubbish today and shot three under and played much better on Thursday and only shot one-under.

“I probably should have shot five or six-under yesterday and then probably shot four or five over today, and to be four-under for the two rounds is what I deserve.

“I figured out something with regards my putting and that was to open-up my putter more at address and have my hands a bit further ahead of the ball, and it seemed to work out there today.

“I’m in a decent spot for the weekend where I can now hopefully make a run at it.”

Gavin Moynihan was back home before the second round ended having missed the cut with scores of 75 and 72.


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