West Cliff’s Brendan McCarroll is just two shots off the pace after firing a six-under par 67 on day one of the Pentahotels Championship at Caversham Heath.
McCarroll blasted a magnificent seven birdies with a sole blemish coming at the par-4 ninth, and his six-under total is just two off leader, Nick Cunningham’s fabulous 65.
Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith is just one shot behind McCarroll in a tie for 10th after finding a superb eight birdies in his brilliant 68 to start.
The weather was hot but the scoring matched it and Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan was another to take advantage, with Grehan in a tie for 19th at minus-four after posting six birdies.
Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy and Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney are just inside the top-40 at two-under par, one shot better than Headfort’s Brian Casey (-1) while Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell and Old Conna’s Neil O’Briain were the only other Irish players to manage parity or better at even.
It’s Bedford & County GC player Cunningham who sets the standard at -8. He started with a bogey at the 1st before firing birdies at eight of the next 11 holes to get to -7 through 14. There was another dropped shot at the 15th, but a birdie-birdie finish was the cherry on top of a fantastic -8 effort around the par-73 layout.
Sam De’Ath (Universal Classic Cars) and Ryan Harmer (Brokenhurst Manor GC) are tucked just behind Cunningham on -7, with a group of six players, including Race to Desert Springs leader Richard Mansell (Beau Desert GC), in a tie for 4th at -6.
It was a solid first round back on the PGA EuroPro Tour for the three players who teed up in the Open Championship last week. Sam Locke (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) missed the cut in Northern Ireland, but he’s in the group on -6. Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park GC) followed up his T57th with a score of -4, and Andrew Wilson (Rockliffe Hall) is -3 off the back of his fantastic T32nd finish at Royal Portrush.
The second round of the 54-hole Pentahotels Championship takes place on Thursday 25th July, with free entry for all spectators.
A cut to the leading 50 players plus ties will be made before the final round on Friday.
Full Scoring HERE
Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!