McBride fires superb 67 to sit just one shot back in Oman

John Craven

Paul McBride (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Island’s Paul McBride raced out of the traps to sit just one shot off the pace after day one of the MENA Tour’s Ghala Open in Oman.

The Dubliner was in sensational form in Muscat, firing eight birdies in a five-under par round of 67 that was only bettered by Frenchman Antoine Schwartz’s 66.

It could have been even better for McBride who was three-under par and cruising through eight holes before getting a bad break off the tee on the par-4 18th, his ninth.


“I doubled my ninth, the 18th,” he explained. “I came out with a three-iron and it plugged in the desert in a footprint and it was buried.

“I hacked it out and made a mess of it from there. Didn’t get up and down from a pretty easy up and down. That was obviously disappointing but I played well up to that so I knew it was kind of a one off.”

Indeed, McBride wasted no time in putting the error behind him, showing immense bounce back ability on the way home.

“I birdied the next four and then I birdied my 15th to shoot five-under,” he added with just the one further blemish coming at the par-3 5th, his 14th.

“I played well, it was just really solid. Hit lots of fairways, lots of greens. My wedge play was good and I holed a few putts so yeah, happy enough.”

Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell also enjoyed a nice start after returning a one-under par round of 71 to be just inside the top-20.

The son of Joey Purcell, Conor carded three birdies and two bogeys amongst his opening effort as he looks to continue the good form that saw him bank a podium finish last week in Cairo.

Naas’ Conor O’Rourke enjoyed an even par opening despite finding four birdies on the round while Rory McNamara struggled before eventually signing for a four-over par 76.

Full scoring HERE


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