Tom McKibbin stays in contention at Qatar Masters

Golf wrap: Shane Lowry’s second round is delayed as Nick Taylor takes commanding lead in Arizona

Tom McKibbin stayed in contention at the Qatar Masters with a two-under-par 70 on day two in Doha. After birding the first hole the Northern Irish golfer had a change of fortunes on the second hole after an eagle 2 the previous day as his drive found the trees and led to a bogey. From there he had four more birdies and two bogeys to lie in tied sixth place at five under, four shots behind the leader, Australian Hadyn Barron on nine under.

Australian Harrison Endycott and Japanese player Rikuya Hoshino are tied second on seven under.

At the Waste Management Open, Shane Lowry finished his first round as a four-under-par 67 as play was delayed again, this time due to frost in Arizona, and was only due to start his second round at 12.55am Irish time. Finishing out his first round, Canadian Nick Taylor stormed into a five-shot lead after a spectacular 11-under-par 60. Séamus Power shot an opening round of 71.

The Offalyman says he has a “bit of a weird schedule” this year, as he has missed out on some signature events due to not making the top 70 of the FedEx Cup last year. “I’m not in some of the big tournaments, which is pretty annoying to be sitting at home watching those on TV, so it kind of gives me that little bit of motivation to kind of play as good as I can this week to get into next week [Genesis Invitational in Riviera].


“I look at the Masters in April as a huge goal, and everything over the next few months is kind of gearing towards that. If anything I feel like I played too much at the start of last year because I had to play all the designated events. Whereas, this year I’m going to have a little bit more time off and a little bit more time to practice, which is nice as well.”

Elsewhere, Adrian Meronk told the Daily Telegraph that not being selected for the Ryder Cup played a part in his decision to join the LIV Golf tour, which is playing in Las Vegas this week.

“What happened definitely made my choice easier. It made it easier to care more about myself and not care what other people think of me, or what other people want me to do. What happened with the Ryder Cup just opened my eyes as to how everything works.”

On the Ladies European Tour Lauren Walsh lost some ground with a 75 but remained well placed in the top 10 at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open, three shots behind leader Cara Gorlei. Olivia Mehaffey dropped back to tied 21st after a second 77.

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David Gorman

David Gorman

David Gorman is a sports journalist with The Irish Times