THERE were quite a few among the galleries at a windswept Baltray yesterday who would have remembered both John O'Leary's hair-do and his garish livery when he accepted the Irish Open trophy back in 1982. They heard about Paul McGinley's early morning 66, thought for a moment if the home drought at this championship would finally end, and then quickly moved on. McGinley's brilliant round was another case of too little too late.

A few hours later, there was some serious revision going on as McGinley found himself remarkably just four strokes behind the leader Peter Lonard in a tie for fourth place after starting the third round in the nether regions of 67th place.

McGinley goes out in the second last match today with an opportunity of pocketing the winner's cheque for .316,000 as well as going a long way to securing his Ryder Cup place. He is among a bunch of eight players on sixunder-par 210 while Aussie Brett Rumford is on his own in second place with South Africa's James Kingston in third. Almost as surprising as McGinley's rehabilitation after some poor form was Padraig Harrington's 71 for a share of 12th place, five shots back of Lonard.