West Waterford’s Gary Hurley bore the fruits of a productive pre-season in a five-under par 67 on day one of the Alps Tour season opener – the Ein Bay Open.
After showing signs of form towards the latter part of last season after a self-confessed struggle with all things golf before then, Hurley hit the ground running in Egypt, firing six birdies to sit just two shots off the lead after the opening day’s play.
Just three players bettered Hurley’s tally and he heads a large Irish contingent, of which rookie Ronan Mullarney is next best after signing for an encouraging three-under par round of 69.
That’s good enough for a share of 10th for the Galwegian who managed five birdies around Sokhna Golf Club as the Alps Tour celebrates its platinum anniversary in 2020.
Alps Tour regular Peter Dallat is just a shot worse off at two-under after making a bright start to his campaign.
Located on the North of the Red Sea, just an hour’s drive from Cairo, the Sokhna Golf Club features a 27-hole Championship Golf Course designed by John Sanford and Tim Lobb and some of Ireland’s travelling contingent struggled to get to grips with its intricacies on day one.
Michael Dallat’s two-over par 74 is only good enough for a tie for 66th while Naas pro Jonathan Yates and Castleknock’s David Carey rather false-started with 75s over their opening 18-holes.
Carey, who secured his maiden professional win on the Tour last year at the Cervino Open, and Yates will be hoping to reverse that form on day two with a 36-hole cut in operation ahead of Thursday’s final round.
Furthermore, with the weather forecast favourable, players can begin to target birdies (not that they wouldn’t already) as this season sees the first player to achieve 240 of them receiving a €20,000 bonus. Lots to play for regardless of how day one went in Sokhna.
Full scoring HERE