August 10, 2007 / 10:06 PM / 12 years ago

Golf-PGA-Motivated McGinley joins title chase

TULSA, Oklahoma, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Irishman Paul McGinley, frustrated after opening with a four-over-par 74, fired a joint best-of-the-day 66 in the U.S. PGA Championship second round on Friday.

The 40-year-old Dubliner rolled in a 20-footer to birdie the 18th, leaving him four strokes behind early leader Scott Verplank of the U.S.

“That wasn’t an easy putt up and over the hill but to hole it was nice,” McGinley told reporters after piling up five birdies and one bogey at a sun-baked Southern Hills Country Club.

“I played really well today. I had a lot of chances and basically hit fairways and greens. That was the key.

“After a 74 yesterday I was disappointed. I figured I could shoot a decent score today and my confidence grew as I holed a few putts.”

McGinley, who holed the winning putt for Europe at the 2002 Ryder Cup, said his initial target had been to make the halfway cut.

“I was right on the cut line (overnight) but I made one from six feet on the third and I was off and running from there,” the four-times European Tour winner added.

“I’m obviously pleased with my position. I put myself under pressure today, because of the cut line, and my priority was to get away from that.”

Although temperatures peaked at 100 degrees (38 Celsius) for the second day in a row, McGinley was not too bothered.

“We are used to these conditions on the European Tour, playing in Asia, Australia and South Africa,” he said.

“The course is tougher now than it was at the start of the week because the breeze is virtually gone. We had a strong breeze the first few days to keep us cool.”

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