McGinley thrives in face of adversity

By Mark Garrod
Saturday 15 March 2003 01:00

What has already been an eventful week for Paul McGinley could yet end with him winning the Qatar Masters here. On Monday the Ryder Cup match-winning hero was diagnosed with pneumonia. On Wednesday the 100-degree heat forced him to pull out of the pro-am after nine holes. On Thursday he was not required even to tee off after a sandstorm curtailed play.

Yesterday morning started with him cutting his thumb opening a jar of strawberry jam. Yet, after all this drama, McGinley played 31 holes in five under par and is only a stroke behind the leaders, David Howell and Jean-François Remesy.

As the tournament attempted to make up for the lost time, Howell was one of only five players to complete their second rounds before nightfall. The Swindon player's reward for finishing is extra time in bed today, while Remesy and McGinley, who is joint third with another Frenchman, Gregory Havret, have to tee off again at 6.30am.

As for the pneumonia, the 36-year-old McGinley said: "I didn't know I had it until the doctor's diagnosis." The Dubliner's opening 68, which left him two behind Howell, ended with a three-putt bogey six, but he birdied the hole on his return to it three hours later and at that point led by two. But then came bogeys at the second and third just before play was called off.

The tournament favourite Padraig Harrington was lying joint third after a hat-trick of birdies around the turn in his second round, but then came a double bogey five on the third. He will set off again today in a tie for 20th place, five behind.

Qatar masters (Doha) Early completed second-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated, 144 players to finish second round Saturday): 138 D Howell 66 72. 140 R Green (Aus) 71 69. 145 J Van Hauwe (Fr) 71 74. 147 R Jacquelin (Fr) 76 71. 155 G Murphy 75 80.

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