Purcell dials in superb 66 on day one of Nokia Masters

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Purcell dials in superb 66 on day one of Nokia Masters

Conor Purcell (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell fired seven birdies in an opening six-under par round of 66 to head the Irish challenge on day one of the EuroPro Tour’s Nokia Masters.

Purcell posted five birdies to make the turn in 31 before adding two more at the 14th and 15th with his one dropped shot of the day arriving at the par-4 16th. The Dubliner sits in a share of seventh overnight, just three shots back of Rhys Thompson’s lead.

On a day of hot scoring, West Cliff’s Brendan McCarroll also fared well, firing six birdies and an eagle along with three dropped shots in a five-under 67. Shannon’s Daniel Brennan is just inside the top-40 after a four-under 68. Wentworth’s Eoin Leonard and Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy are at two-under with Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan the only other Irishman to break par at minus-one.

Galway’s Ronan Mullarney (+1), Youghal’s Conor Coyne (+2) and PGA Catalunya pro Luke Donnelly (+3) complete the Irish scoring ahead of day two.

At the top, Thompson will take a one-shot lead into the second day of The Nokia Masters after a stunning opening round of nine-under-par for 63. The Whitley Bay golfer went out in 32 and returned in 31 for a breathtaking opener to set him up for the week.

Adam Chapman (Penrith Golf Hub) was bogey-free as he went out in 31 with five birdies on the card continuing his solid opening day with a further three back to back on the back nine from 11 to hold the tied clubhouse lead for the majority of the opening day before Thompson completed his round.

Dan Brown’s day was also clear of any mistakes with an eagle on the card at the eighth, the pick of the bunch. The Romanby Golf Club golfer is looking to bounce back from losing out in a playoff for the title at Clevedon Golf Club to Stephan Shephard.

Hanbury Manor Golf Club’s Taylor Carter has trended in the right direction of late and continued that with a blemish-free day of seven-under for 67 to sit one off the lead with Crewe Golf Club’s Harry Beavan. Beavan’s back nine will certainly be memorable for him with his run from 10 to 15 being birdie, birdie, bogey, birdie, bogey, and an eagle. Jeff Wright (Airdrie Golf Club) is also sat at seven-under two behind after a day that could’ve been even better if it wasn’t for two blemishes on the card.

The second round of The Nokia Masters at Mannings Heath Golf & Wine Estate will commence on a one tee start from 6:30 am with players taking on one more round before the cut is made to the leading 50 players. Make sure you are following the PGA EuroPro Tour across social media for updates from The Nokia Masters at Mannings Heath Golf & Wine Estate. FacebookInstagramTwitter.

Highlights from The Nokia Masters will air on Sky Sports Golf on Tuesday 17, August at 6pm with further airings throughout the following days. You can also watch highlights on Matchroom.Live free of charge.

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