Northern Ireland Open: Michael Hoey misses Galgorm cut again

Michael Hoey
Michael Hoey played in The Open Championship in July

Michael Hoey has failed to make the cut at the Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle for the second successive year.

In windy conditions, Hoey fired a four-over-par 75 which left him on four over at the European Challenge Tour event, three shots off the cut mark.

A five-time European Tour winner, Hoey admitted to being a "bit rusty", having not played a lot in recent weeks.

Johan Edfors ended one over, inside the cut mark of two over, while Sweden's Joakim Lagergren leads on nine under.

Lagergren followed up his course record 62 with a level-par 71 to lead by a shot from England's Steven Brown, who shot a 69.

Michael Hoey
"My short game was terrible and my concentration was poor."

Tournament ambassador Hoey carded two birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey at the eighth, his penultimate hole of the day.

The Galgorm tour professional drove into the bunker, then found the water to scupper his hopes of playing at the weekend.

"It's disappointing - I didn't play all that badly, but I need to get some practice in after not having played a lot over the last six weeks or so.

"My short game was terrible and my concentration was poor - I didn't think clearly," lamented Hoey.

His playing partner Edfors looked set to join Hoey in exiting but the Swede produced a birdie-eagle finish to squeeze into the weekend on one over, after suffering a triple bogey seven at the third, as he signed for a 75.

Another former European Tour winner, Kenneth Ferrie, is well placed on six under after posting a second consecutive 68.

Ex-British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar made the cut in the £140,000 event as a 74 left him two over.

Clandeboye man Jonathan Caldwell is the leading Northern Ireland player at the halfway stage after a 73 in the windy conditions left him sharing ninth place on four under with a group which includes European Tour winners Rhys Davies and Ross McGowan.

Caldwell partnered Rory McIlroy in the 2007 Walker Cup at Royal County Down.

Gareth Shaw is a further shot back on three under after firing a 72 on Friday.

Ballymena amateur Dermot Molloy, who tied for ninth in the Galgorm event last year, safely progressed to the weekend after a 73 left him seven off the pace.

McElroy's fellow Irish international John Ross Galbraith also progressed after his 72 left him sharing 30th place on level par.

Those joining Hoey in exiting included Damien Mooney and Ardglass amateur Cormac Sharvin who both missed out by a shot after rounds of 73 plus new professional Reeve Whitson who finished on 10 over after successive rounds of 76.