Cormac Sharvin looks determined to see his best season on Tour through to the finish after he fired a four-under par 68 on day one of the Rolex Trophy in Switzerland.
Currently occupying one of the precious top-15 spots that will be assured of European Tour graduation next season, the Ardglass professional posted an eagle and two birdies in a bogey-free effort that sees him occupy 8th position heading into day two, just two shots off the lead.
Following the success of the ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women, Presented by Modest! Golf Management last week, where men and women played for equal prize funds, the Rolex Trophy brings another different format as the top 39 ranked players, plus one invite, will play alongside amateurs in the four-day Pro-Am contest.
Adrian Meronk, Martin Simonsen and Ben Stow recorded six-under par rounds of 66 to lead they way.
The trio, who all carded bogey-free front nine scores, started quickly on Wednesday morning and ended the day with a share of the one-stroke lead at the top of the leaderboard at Golf Club de Genève.
Both Meronk and Simonsen are making their maiden appearances in the exclusive 40-man Rolex Trophy and showed no signs of inexperience following their rounds of 66. The Dane raced out of the blocks with six birdies in his front nine, including three in a row ahead of the turn, and returned to the clubhouse in level par after a bogey and a birdie amongst seven pars.
“I would’ve taken that score this morning,” said Simonsen. “I was hoping for a little more after the front nine I had when I was six under par after nine holes, which was nice, and I had a good look at the tenth for birdie to get to seven under, but six under par is good and I’m happy with it.
“I played really well on seven, eight and nine, where I had fairly easy birdies. I lost momentum a little on the back nine. I hit a good shot on 11 but miscalculated the wind so it came up short and then I missed a short putt for par.
“It’s always nice being towards the top of the leaderboard, so hopefully I can put together a couple of good rounds and see where we end up.”
Poland’s Meronk made back-to-back birdies to begin his inaugural round at Golf Club de Genève before carding the first of two eagles at the par five fifth hole. His only dropped shot of the day came at the tenth, but he responded with a birdie at the 13th and his second eagle at the par five 15th to reach the six under par target.
“It was a very solid day,” said Meronk. “I played really well and I’m very pleased with my game. It’s only the first day but it’s a good position to be in. There is still a lot of golf to be played but I’m excited for the next three days.
“They were solid eagles on two of the par fives. I hit two solid shots off the tee, which you need to do around here, and that allowed me to go for the green in two, so I was very happy with those two holes.”
Englishman Stow finished in a share of eighth place 12 months ago and continued his good form on the Geneva course with a round of 66, which included seven birdies and only one bogey.
The trio hold a one-shot lead over a group of four players, including Challenge Tour Number One and Two Calum Hill and Antoine Rozner. The pair sit alongside Carlos Pigem and Ricardo Santos in a tie for fourth as they also carded five under par rounds of 67.
Full scoring HERE