The 111th Irish PGA Championship is being staged over Carne Golf Links
CASTLETROY Golf Club's Jack Ryan is well-placed after the opening round of the prestigious Irish PGA Championship.
Ryan, an Assistant PGA Professional at Castletroy, shot at opening round of -1 to be tied fifth at the 111th staging of the Championship which is being hosted by Carne Golf Links in Co Mayo.
Ryan's round included an excellent front nine of 33, when he made five birdies, including three in a row from the seventh hole.
Ballyneety Golf Club's Gavin Young is tied 22nd after an opening round of 74. Former Irish PGA winner Tim Rice, of Limerick Golf Club, carded an opening round of 77 to sit in 45th place.
Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) fired an impressive six under par 66 to take the lead after day one.
Kilpatrick’s bogey-free, six birdie round earned him a two shot lead over Mark Staunton (Mark Staunton Golf) with defending champion, Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) a shot further back on three under par.
“I played very solidly, didn’t hit one driver and kept it in play,” said Kilpatrick.
“I controlled and managed my game well and holed a few putts.”
Overnight rain softened conditions on the Wild Atlantic Dunes course but the predicted storms somehow skirted the venue with competitors basking in afternoon sunshine.
“Like everyone else I was prepared for some wet and windy weather but it turned out to be an absolutely great day,” added Richard.
Staunton’s four under 68 included a double bogey at the par four 12th but he was reasonably pleased with his start.
“I was steady, just kind of plodded along,” said Mark.
“I picked up birdies on three of the par fives and hit a couple of lovely shots close on two of the par threes (10 &14)
Defending champion Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) was frustrated with his opening 69.
“Any time you shoot under par you have to be happy,” admitted Simon.
“It’s a golf course that you can make a high number straight away if you miss, there is a lot of heavy rough.
“Three under, it is what it is, we will go again tomorrow and see how we get on.”
The second round continues on Friday after which a cut will be made to the leading 50 players and ties who will play in the final round on Saturday. The winner will collect €6000 from a total prize fund of €40,000.
111th Irish PGA Championship at Carne Golf Links
Sponsored by Columbia Sportswear
Rd 1 leading scores
1 R Kilpatrick (Banbridge GC) -6 18
2 M Staunton (Mark Staunton Golf) -4 18
3 S Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) -3 18
4 S O'Donoghue (Mount Wolseley G&CC) -2 18
T5 D Mooney (Damian Mooney Golf) -1 18
T5 L Grehan (The K Club) -1 18
T5 D Higgins (Waterville Golf Links) -1 18
T5 J Ryan (Castletroy GC) -1 18
T5 L Campbell (County Armagh GC) -1 18
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