Colm Moriarty and Shane Jenkinson share top spot after day one of the 110th Irish PGA Championship at Roganstown Hotel and Country Club.
Glasson professional Moriarty entered the opening round on a high after romping to a five stroke win at Monday’s Pro-Am and although he didn’t quite hit the heights of that 64, he fired three birdies in a blemish-free round of 68 to get his title bid off to a fine start in Swords.
St Margaret’s pro Jenkinson ensured Moriarty had some company at the top of the €32,000 event after posting five birdies and an eagle on his way to matching Colm at three-under par.
With the pair going in search of a maiden Irish PGA crown, two-time winner, Simon Thornton’s name looms ominously just two shots adrift of the leading pair.
Out in two-over par, the Tulfarris man found three birdies in a back nine of 33 to reach the clubhouse under par at minus-one, sharing third spot alongside Athenry’s Sean Cannon who also signed for a one-under par 70.
Scoring proved tough on the opening day with just nine players managing parity or better around Roganstown. Three shots adrift and sharing fifth is a group of five players at level, headed by Hazel Kavanagh who carded four birdies in her even par effort.
Kavanagh is joined by Old Conna’s Neil O’Briain, Clontarf’s Eoin O’Brien, Cahir Park’s Paul Eivers and 2012 champion David Higgins at evens.
As for the defending champion Damien McGrane, the Carlow professional dropped six shots in his closing six holes to post a four-over par 75, good enough to be just inside the top-30 heading into round two.