Headfort’s Brian Casey enjoyed a nice first day back on EuroPro duty after carding a three-under par 68 at Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf and Spa in Shropshire.
Casey fired six birdies in a superb opening effort and finds himself just three shots off the lead in a share of 12th at minus-three heading into round two.
On a tough opening day for Ireland’s raiders, Casey proved the only Irish player to break par with Woodcote Park’s Peter Williamson and Old Conna’s Neil O’Briain next best in a huge share of 36th after posting even par 71s.
In a group of 31 places at one-over par sits Shannon’s Daniel Brennan, Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith, Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan and St Annes Cameron Raymond who all returned rounds of 72.
The big shock on the opening day was that Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell, who looks to be Ireland’s main contender for a top-5 spot on the money-list and the Challenge Tour card that goes with it slumped to a five-over par 76 that will take some coming back from.
Caldwell is a full 11 shots behind Mitch Waite and Sean Towndrow who lead after day one.
Waite (Filton Golf Club) knocked it round in 65 (-6) with five birdies and an eagle including two his birdies coming on the par 5s.
Meanwhile, Towndrow (Southport & Ainsdale GC / Golfing4Life) had eight birdies on his card to tie for the lead with Waite after day one.
First out this morning was James Allan (Chelmsford Golf Club) taking advantage of the early start going tied third 66 (-5) whilst his playing partners Ryan Campbell (Falkirk Golf Club) and Jack Davidson (Llanwern Golf Club) finished round one on one under and level respectively.
Tied with Allan is Will Whiteoak (Shipley Golf Club) in a round that included three birdies on the bounce followed by an eagle and a further birdie on the front nine.
Paul McKechnie (Braid Hills Golf Centre), Miles Collins (Stoke by Nayland Golf Club), Daniel Jennevret, Daniel Young (Kingsbarns Pro Academy), Nick Watson (Stoke Rochford Golf Club), Daniel Brown (Littlestone Golf Club) and Todd Clements (Brocket Hall Golf Club) are all tied on four under.
Jennevret followed on from a strong finish at Frilford Heath with four birdies on his front nine. McKechnie, Clements and Young were all bogey-free.
The second round of the PGA EuroPro Tour at Macdonald Hill Valley will see a cut made to the leading fifty players plus ties.
Full Scoring HERE
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