Kennedy and O’Neill break par on day one at The Amateur

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Kennedy and O’Neill break par on day one at The Amateur

Luke O'Neill in action in Nairn, Scotland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Max Kennedy and Luke O’Neill fired one-under par rounds of 70 to sit just three shots back of home favourite, Calum Scott’s lead after day one of The Amateur Championship at Nairn.

Royal Dublin’s Kennedy carded three birdies in his last four holes while Connemara’s O’Neill raced home with four birdies in his last five as the Irish pair produced rock-solid opening efforts in Scotland where they sit in a tie for third overnight.

Royal Dublin’s Hugh Foley also started well with two birdies and an eagle in a one-over 72 while Carton House’s Marc Boucher, fresh off Senior Cup success in Donegal last week, posted four birdies in a two-over 73. Kilkenny’s Mark Power matched that score after recovering from an outward half of 41 with two birdies and an eagle in an inward half of 32.

Royal Portrush’s Jack Madden was at three-over (74) with Castle’s Robert Moran at four-over (75). Carton House’s Keith Egan recovered from an outward half of 42 with an inward nine of 34 in a five-over 76 – the same score as Royal Dublin’s Richard Knightly, Enniscorthy’s Paul Conroy, Malone’s Matthew McClean and Roganstown’s Patrick Keeling.

Dun Laoghaire’s Alan Fahy and Elm Park’s John Cleary were at six-over with Grange’s Jake Whelan at plus-seven while Fortwilliam’s Hugh O’Hare rounded out the Irish scoring at 12-over par.

The top-64 players after Tuesday’s second round will qualify for the match-play stages which begin on Wednesday.

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