Hoey blazes clear

European Tour

Ireland’s Michael Hoey has charged into the lead at the Dunhill with three birdies and an eagle after just five holes.

Irelands Michael Hoey has charged back into the early lead at the Dunhill Links Championship, sensationally picking up four shots in just five holes.

Teeing off first from the 10th tee at Carnoustie, considered by most to be tougher than of other two courses in play this week, the Old Course at St Andrew and Kingsbarns, Hoey mixed a bogey at the unlucky 13th with birdies at the 11th and 12th holes and then a striking eagle at the 14th to go 4-under for the round after just five holes.

That took him to a tournament total of 16-under and after six holes it put him two shots clear of the 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen who had reached the eighth hole at St Andrews where he won his Open title by five shots two years ago in 3-under for the day and 14-under for the round, this thanks to birdies on the 4th 6th and 7th holes.

With the bulk of the field having reached the turn at this stage, Hoey’s pursuers-in-chief early on Friday afternoon were back on song Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, who was at 13 under and England’s Tommy Fleetwood who was a shot further back on 13, both having played seven holes.

Northern Ireland 2011 US Open champion, Graeme McDowell, meanwhile, was also on the charge and had shot three birdies, an eagle and a bogey heading for the 14th at St Andrews.

He was at 12-under in a three-way tie at this time with Austria’s top golfer, Markus Brier, and a little-known Scot George Murray.

Brier’s was at two under after 13 holes and Murray 4-under after 12.

World No 1 Luke Donald who is looking for as much prize money as he can get this week in his bid the become the first man ever to top the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic this year, was, in the meantime fighting back from a poor second round of 71 and was on the verge of moving into the top 20 via four birdies.

Like most of the game’s big names, he was playing St Andrews and was at 8-under for the tournament after teeing off at 4-under on the first.

World No 2 Lee Westwood, who is chasing Donald’s No 1 spot, had also played his first nine at St Andrews and was at 3-under for the round and 10-under for the tournament.

Play at Kingsbarns, in the meantime, had been suspended due to fog, but play at nearby St Andrews and Kingsbarns was continuing as per schedule.

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