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14th December 2018 | Sunshine Tour

McGuigan happy to be in the Malelane mix

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Doug McGuigan missed out on the Alfred Dunhill Championship 15 years ago after losing on the second play-off hole but after his second-round 66 at this year’s edition, his hope for glory was revived at Leopard Creek.

McGuigan was part of a six-man play-off at Houghton Golf Club, and Mark Foster of England snatched the honours from McGuigan, Paul Lawrie, Trevor Immelman, Anders Hansen and Bradford Vaughan in January 2003.

“It’s exciting to be in the mix here again,” said McGuigan. “I lost this event in a playoff, probably about 15 years ago and it’s been a thorn in my flesh for many years and I began to wonder if I’ll ever get back in the mix but I played nicely today. I look forward to the weekend and whatever happens, happens.”

The eight-time Sunshine Tour winner opened his round with a bogey on the par-four first, and there was only one more for the day on the fifth. He then got the control of his game back on the eighth with a birdie.

He took that confidence onto the back nine, and made four consecutive the 10th to the 13th. Two more birdies came on the 15th and 16th and he closed with a birdie on the 18th to book himself a place on the weekend.

“On the back nine I got things going and I know I birdied eight two days in a row and to birdie that hole is a nice achievement,” he said. “From eight, I played extremely solidly. I played with two guys today who hit the ball off the tee extremely long, but I putted extremely well. I had nine one-putts on the back nine. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.”

The 48-year-old has reason to be excited this week as his best result in the Alfred Dunhill Championship after that memorable playoff was the share of 18th in 2005-06 season and a share of 20th in 2011.

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