Morgan is the clear favourite to win

TWENTY-NINE-YEAR-OLD John Morgan from Bristol, who was beaten in a play-off in the United States for the John Deere Classic four years ago, is clear favourite to win the MCP Classic at Ufford Park.

TWENTY-NINE-YEAR-OLD John Morgan from Bristol, who was beaten in a play-off in the United States for the John Deere Classic four years ago, is clear favourite to win the MCP Classic at Ufford Park.

He was first off the tee at 7.45 and added a seven under par round of 63 to his 66 on the first day. He leads by five strokes going into today's final round.

Morgan did not use his putter on either of the par-three 15th or 16th holes. A 30-yard chip yielded a birdie and then he holed out with a nine iron on the 150-yard 16th. It was his first ace in tournament play and he now has a chance to win a car in the Hole-in-One Challenge at the Europro final tournament in Portugal.

He joins five other golfers who have qualified and each will have five shots at a par three, with the nearest to the pin being the winner.

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Incidentally, last year's car was won by Yasin Alli - who still cannot drive!

Morgan's effort yesterday was the first hole-in one at Ufford in the four years of Europro tour events here.

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Morgan followed his eagle by carelessly three-putting the next hole, one of only two bogies in the round. But he put things right with a birdie on the last.

Morgan is just coming back to golf after a spell off with ankle ligament damage and has already qualified for the European Tour School event in Spain next month. Playing like this, he surely has a great chance of winning his card.

Morgan's round of 63 was matched by ex-European tour regular Roger Winchester and he is in third place at five under.

Second though is Darren Prosser at six under. A good finish will hoist him up from 11th in the Europro Order of Merit, while Kevin Harper, currently sixth, can also move up.

A couple of 68s sees him at four under par, together with three other players.

The current Order of Merit leader, Damien Mooney, is 15 shots behind the leader and second-placed Daniel Gaunt has only to finish ahead of him to leapfrog into the lead. Gaunt is five shots better off going into the last round.

As the rains came and a squally wind made it increasingly difficult, the afternoon starters had little chance of improving. Only four broke par.

Joint leader from day one, Michael McDermott, slipped quickly out of contention, dropping five shots on the front nine and he just made the cut after a 78.

Former Woodbridge junior, Luke Miller has done very well to make the cut. He was one under for this second round, with four holes to play, but consecutive bogies meant he had to be content with a second successive round of 71.

Lawrence Dodd, early in his professional career, had the worst of the conditions, but played well. The putter though let him down late in his round and a 74 means he misses the cut.

Robin Mann, by his own admission, played his worst golf all year and also missed out while Andy Cotton withdrew due to sickness.

Clacton's Jason Levermore needed to make the cut to ensure a place in Portugal. The top 50 are invited and he is 47th. A two-round total of 142 means he plays the final round.

Scores after 36 holes

129: John Morgan 66-63.

134: Darren Prosser 69-65.

135: Roger Winchester 72-63.

136: Kevin Harper 68-68, Nathan Treacher 68-68, Matt Morris 68-68, Craig Smith 68-68.

137: Mark Smith 70-67.

138: Matthew Mills 69-69, Matthew Woods 69-69, Graeme Clark 71-67.

139: Warren Bennett 69-70, Sean Whiffin 67-72, James Ruebotham 71-68, David Price 72-67, Daniel Gaunt 70-69.

140: Andrew Willey 70-70, Ian Keenan 71-69.

141: Graham Gordon 68-73, Matthew Cort 70-71, Ian Ridgeway 71-70, Joe Templer 71-70, Neil Walker 75-66, Craig Billing 69-72, Lee Gauthier 67-74, Noel Fox 67-74, Ian Ellis 68-73.

142: James Mason 72-70, Ben St John 71-71, Chris Kelly 69-73, Luke Miller 71-71, Jason Levermore 71-71, Paul Doherty 71-71, Alan Murray 72-70.

143: Gary Oliver 70-73, Eddie Vernon 70-73, Jonathan Herbert 73-70, Lee Wood 69-74, Michael Watson 70-73, Ian Parnaby 69-74, Richard Wheatley 72-71, Sean Doherty 69-74.

144: Daniel Wood 77- 67, Damien Mooney 72-72, Russell Claydon 72-72, Jeremy Kavanagh 69-75, Guy Woodman 71-73, Dean Barnes 71-73, Simon Robinson 69-75, Sandeep Grewal 73-71, Michael McDermott 69-78.

Selected others:

145: Darren Charlton 76-69.

146: Mark Davis 77-69.

148: Andrew George 76-72.

149: Justin Brown 76-73, Laurence Dodd 75-74, Paul Ring 77-72.

151: Colin Williams 76-75.

153: Robin Mann 76-77.

Retired: Andy Cotton.

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