Friday, 19 March 2010

Former British amateur champion Michael Hoey birdied four of his first eight holes to take over the lead in the Madeira Islands Open BPI - Portugal at Porto Santo Golfe.

The Northern Ireland 30 year old, who came through The European Tour Qualifying School at the sixth attempt last year, stood six under par and one ahead of overnight pacesetters Damien McGrane and Joakim Haeggman.

The Swede, trying to re-ignite his career after twice being forced back Qualifying School, was among the day's later starters, while McGrane, winner of last year's Volvo China Open and one of the tournament favourites, resumed with four successive pars.

As an amateur Hoey finished 11th in the 2001 Scottish Open and he was a teammate of Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Nick Dougherty in the Walker Cup victory in America later that year.

He turned professional after playing in The Masters Tournament in 2002, was a Challenge Tour graduate in 2005, but lost his card immediately - and that 11th place at Loch Lomond eight years ago remains his best finish on the main circuit.

England's Stuart Davis has been waiting even longer to make his mark on Tour, but the 35 year old from Derbyshire was starting to do so.

Davis, who has failed at Qualifying School no fewer than eight times and came through last season's Challenge Tour by less than €250, birdied the tenth and 13th to climb into a share for fourth place on three under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1GOYA, EstanislaoARG18-6
2MACAULAY, CallumSCO18-5
T3MCGRANE, DamienIRL18-4
T3BESSELING, WilNED18-4
5WALL, AnthonyENG18-3
6HOEY, MichaelNIR18-2
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