McNulty and O'Malley go head to head


Australian Peter O'Malley and Zimbabwe's Mark McNulty began like men possessed on the second morning of the Murphy's Irish Open at Fota Island and both have been rewarded with a share of the early lead on eight-under par.

Playing in the same group, it would appear both players are acting as inspiration for the other sharing eight birdies and no dropped shots as they near the turn. A birdie at the second kickstarted McNulty's charge, from there he went on to convert four in a row from the fourth.

O'Malley's story began with a birdie three at the opening hole before adding two more at the fourth and fifth. Argentina's Eduardo Romero moved up to third on six-under after he made a birdie on the 10th, his opening hole, while playing alongside Padraig Harrington. The Dubliner was one-under through five holes thanks to a birdie at the second.

Des Smyth, 49, was another early starter who is trying to emulate yesterday's inspired return to form. To date the veteran was level after eight holes to remain four-under overall.

Elsewhere, Sweden's Fredrik Jacobsen has won every member of the public a complimentary pint of the sponsor's stout by scoring a hole-in-one at the 199-yard par three 11th.

The Swede holed out with an eight-iron which served as the perfect tonic after an opening bogey at the 10th, his first. All spectators have to do is produce their entrance ticket at any bar to avail of the free pint.

Early indications suggest the second day could be one of low scoring and why shouldn’t they be conditions are perfect for playing on a glorious summer morning.