Ruaidhri McGee in contention at halfway mark in Spain

Ruaidhri McGee
Ruaidhri McGee

It was very much a case of Spanish delight and Irish cheer in equal measure at the Challenge de Madrid, as Juan Sarasti and Ruaidhri McGee played their way to the top of a leaderboard chocked full of home talent as well as international stars.

The leading pair are 12 under par and a shot clear of Swedish rookie Sebastian Soderberg, as both continued to impress on the testing El Encin Golf Hotel layout.

Under his own pressure to perform this week is McGee who is playing on a medical extension in the hope that he can also earn himself a better category for the rest of the year.

If the Derry golfer was to claim a maiden title this week then his worries would be over, but like any golfer in his position, he is keen to not get too far ahead of himself at the half way stage.

“I started with a birdie at the first, then missed a couple on two and three, before four more in a row from there,” said the 24 year old, who has adopted a vegetarian diet since the turn of the year.

“So I got to five under pretty quick, and was pretty happy with that. Then I got to the back nine and picked one up at 11, but I was a bit up and down from there and managed to finish level for the second nine, so I was happy enough.

“After yesterday I said I would take three more of the same, so I felt I had to do something similar today. I didn’t have a target, I just wanted to see what happened.

“I just need to do more of the same over the next two rounds, no real targets, then we’ll just see what happens.”

Ireland’s Peter Lawrie is well placed on six under after two rounds with Simon Thornton back on three under and Gareth Maybin on two under par.

On the European Tour, Michael Hoey will have to card a low round today to make the cut at the Volvo China Open.

Hoey trails the leaders David Howell, Bradley Dredge and Michael Hendry by eight shot after a disappointing four over 76.