2012 winner Pat Murray is the best-placed Limerick-based player after the opening round of strokeplay at the 115th South of Ireland Golf Championship at Lahinch Golf Club.
Forty four-year-old Murray, of Limerick Golf Club, carded an opening round 73 to sit tied ninth after the first round on the famed Co Clare links.
Murray lies seven shots behind 21-year-old leader Jack Whelan of Newlands who shot a round of -4, 68.
Whelan leads by one shot from Mallow’s Paul McCarthy.
Just eight players from the 150-strong field broke par on Wednesday at Lahinch. A fresh southwest wind in the afternoon made scoring especially difficult for the afternoon starters.
The top 64 players after today’s (Thursday) second round will qualify for the matchplay stages of the ‘South’ which begin on Friday.
Other Limerick-based players to do impress on the opening day were Castletroy Golf Club’s Dean McMahon who shot an excellent 74, while Justin Kehoe and Michael O’Kelly, both of Limerick Golf Club, returned rounds of 76 as did former winner Peter Sheehan, of Ballybunion.
Three more locally-based players currently sitting inside the top 64 on +5 are Andrew McCormack, of Castletroy Golf Club, and the Limerick Golf Club pair of Michael Reddan and Mark McGrath.
SOUTH OF IRELAND ROUND 1 SCORES
68 Jake Whelan (Newlands)
69 Paul McCarthy (Mallow)
70 Paul McBride (Island), Alex Gleeson (Castle)
71 Aaron Grant (Dundalk), Conor Purcell (Portmarnock), John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead), Daniel Holland (Castle)
72 Devin Morley (Oughterard), Keith Egan (Carton House), Stephen Watts (Cairndhu), Sean Flanagan (Co. Sligo), Robert Cannon (Balbriggan), Cole Madey (USA)
73 Evan Farrell (Ardee), Greg Mungovan (Headfort), Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle), Robin Dawson (Tramore), Rowan Lester (Hermitage), Pat Murray (Limerick), Gary Collins (Rosslare), David Brady (Co. Sligo), Mark Mullen (Rosslare)
74 Daniel Brennan (Shannon), Dean McMahon (Castletroy), Rob Brazill (Naas), Luke Donnelly (Kilkenny), John Hickey (Cork), Peter O' Keeffe (Douglas), Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene), Liam Grehan (Mullingar), Marc Nolan (Delgany), Eanna Griffin (Waterford), Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle), Michael Ryan (New Ross)
75 Stuart Bleakley (Shandon Park), Colm Campbell Jnr (Warrenpoint), William Small (Tandragee), Eugene Smith (Ardee), Paul Carey (Nenagh), Colin Fairweather (Knock), Gavin Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick), Shaun Carter (The Royal Dublin), Mark Morrissey (Mount Wolseley), Gerard Dunne (Co. Louth), Arthur Pierse (Tipperary), Paul O'Hara (Kilkenny), Des Morgan (New Forest), Declan Reidy (Co. Sligo), James Gerard Fox (Portmarnock), Fergal O'Sullivan (Tralee)
76 Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little.), Justin Kehoe (Limerick), Peter Sheehan (Ballybunion), Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock), Paul O'Hanlon (Carton House), Cathal Nolan (Galway), Ronan Mullarney (Galway), Michael O'Kelly (Limerick), Ed Hickey (Shannon), Stephen Coulter (Warrenpoint), Gavin Smyth (Clonmel), Ben Best (Rathmore), Marc Norton (Belvoir Park)
77 Mark Ford (Cork), Alec Myles (Newlands), Eoin O'Connor (Ballybunion), Michael Reddan (Limerick), Dylan Brophy (Castleknock), Dave O'Donovan (Muskerry), Ian Spillane (Mallow), Keith Murphy (Charlesland), Andrew McCormack (Castletroy), Ed Stack (Ballybunion), Cathal Butler (Kinsale), Ted Collins (Dun Laoghaire), Mark MacGrath (Limerick), David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown)
78 Eamonn Haugh (Castletroy), Ally Purdy (Ballyclare), Sean Poucher (Limerick), Eoin Glynn (Lahinch), Eoin Leonard (Wentworth), Shane McGlynn (Portmarnock), Michael Reid (Galgorm Castle), Gareth Lappin (Belvoir Park), Shane Hogan (Nenagh), Gavin Young (Nenagh), Ryan Berkeley (Dun Laoghaire)
79 Rory Williamson (Holywood), Sean Walsh (Carton House), Paul Murphy (Rosslare), Eddie Power (Kilkenny), Thomas Mulligan (Co. Louth), Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock), John Greene (Portmarnock), Jack Pierse (Portmarnock), Cian Geraghty (Laytown & Bettystown), Nils Conway (Grange), Owen O'Brien (Limerick), Clayton Madey (USA), Brian Shally (Dromoland)
80 Colin Woodroofe (Blainroe), Stefan Greenberg (Tandragee), Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin), Ross Steedman (Courtown), Kyle McCarron (North West), Jack Ryan (Castletroy), Thomas Neenan (Lahinch), Niall O'Reilly (Clonmel), Peter Kane (Ashbourne), Darragh Crawford (Bundoran), Conor Byrne (USA), Thomas O'Connor (Athlone)
81 Peter Redmond (Beech Park), Declan McInerney (Lahinch), Michael Buggy (Castlecomer), Graham Nugent (Kilkenny), Tony O'Leary (Rosslare), Joe Lyons (Galway), Stephen Walsh (Portmarnock), Marc Boucher (Carton House)
82 John Conroy (Portmarnock), Tony Cleary (Woodstock), Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint), Jason O'Donnell (Shannon), Brian Doran (Baltinglass), Barry Daly (Edmondstown), Gary Ward (Kinsale), Sam Sweeney (USA), Robbie Pierse (Grange), James Sugrue (Mallow)
83 David Reddan (Nenagh), Alan Thomas (Dungarvan), Jack Walsh (Castle), Brett Macias (Palmerstown Stud), Colm Crowley (Woodbrook)
84 Gary McGrane (The Royal Dublin), Cillian Moloney (Fota Island)
85 Ruairi O'Connor (Co. Sligo), Anthony Sweeney (Woodstock), Robert Farrell (New Ross), Peter McKeever (Castle)
86 Conor Ryan (Dun Laoghaire), Tom Griffin (Crews Hill)
87 John Reynolds (Dungarvan), Aaron Moore (Adare Manor)
88 Sean Burns (Dromoland)
NR Brian Gilligan (Woodstock), Sean Ryan (The Royal Dublin)