SEVERE WINDS WREAKED havoc at the European Tour’s Trophée Hassan II in Morocco yesterday, but Damien McGrane’s rhythm appears to have survived the onslaught intact.
The Meath man only completed five holes of his second round before conditions forced a break in play, but returned early this morning to negotiate the remaining 13 holes in four-under-par and card a bogey-free 68.
The round, impressive given the circumstances, proved sufficient to wrest control of the tournament from 2002 Ryder Cup veteran Philip Price and post an aggregate total 11-under-par.
Playing in advance of Friday’s inclement weather, Price – without a tournament victory since the 2003 European Open – reached the sanctuary of the Golf du Palais Royal clubhouse in six-under-par, 10-under for the tournament.
Currently alone in second place, he enjoys a one-shot advantage over Spanish veteran José Manuel Lara, whose seven-under-par 65 equalled the best round of the day.
Though he has amassed over €3.5 million in prizemoney on the European Tour, McGrane’s lone tournament victory remains the 2008 Volvo China Open, an event reduced to 54 holes after on-course flooding.