With a number of them taking part at the ISPS Handa World Invitational there weren’t that many Irish players in action on day one of the PDC Championship.
On a day where the wind progressively got worse and weather played it’s part, Sean Lawrie held the overnight lead after a round of 67 (-5) while Eoin Leonard was the best placed Irishman in 40th position on the projected cut line of 1-over par.
With the weather much improved for day two. there’s plenty of work to do for Stuart Grehan (+3), Ronan Mullarney (+4), Tim Rice (+4) to make the cut and it was an unhappy day for John Hickey and Daniel Brennan who are both on 7-over.
At the head of proceedings Lawrie (from the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) battled throughout his round going three under thru 9 before coming in for 34 to hold the advantage over Stuart Mclaren, Harry Goddard, and Tom Sloman. The Scotsman wasn’t fazed by the conditions picking up seven birdies along the way and setting the benchmark in emphatic fashion.
Mclaren penned a 68 (-4) going out in 32 before holding out for level on the back nine despite three bogies coming into the clubhouse. The Renaissance Club golfer has been forever getting better since turning professional earlier in the season and the conditions seemed to favour his game as he headed out early around the East Course. Goddard (Trinifold Sports) was bogey-free with birdies on 2 and 6 on the front nine following it up with a further brace on the back nine at 15 and 17.
Meanwhile, Sloman (Trinifold Sports) was in a similar boat to Lawrie in heading out in some of the worst conditions of the day but he proved his mettle holding out for his 68 that included six birdies on the card.
Jack Davidson comes into the week fresh off a start on the European Tour at Celtic Manor and it seemed that experience benefitted him today. The Caversham golfer sitting at tied fifth on the back of a three under round that included six birdies and an eagle. 69 seemed to be a popular score with it also being how Jack Hawksby (Millbrook Golf Club), John Parry (Harrogate Golf Club), Nick Cunningham (Woburn Golf Club), Jack South (Tippity Green GC /Taymar Homes), and Jack Clarkson (Lancaster Golf Club) fared.