Smith leads midway through the Irish Open for Golfers with a Disability

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Bradley Smith (ENG)(Royal Cromer) on the 17th tee during Round 1 of the Irish Open for Golfers with a Disability 2022 at Roganstown Golf Club, Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland on Tuesday 5th July 2022. Picture: Fintan Clarke / Golffile

England’s Bradley Smith will take a three-shot lead into the final day of the inaugural Irish Open for Golfers with a Disability in Roganstown.

The world number 12 finished the day in the north Dublin venue on -2, three clear of Ballinasloe’s Aidan Grenham.

Smith began the day with the opening tee shot of the Championship, and got to the turn in +1 after two bogeys and a birdie. Three birdies on the back nine, including one on the 18th saw the 27-year-old take a commanding lead.

“I played solidly today. I three-putted one of the par-5s, but other than that I felt I played well. It’s nice to put myself in contention, but it’s only the midway point,” he said.

“The course is playing great, but it’s playing soft. The greens are really pure. If you hit a good putt, it’ll go in. There is a score out there. -2 is a good score, but you can also chuck in a few bogeys and doubles.”

Aidan Grenham leads the local charge, on +1. The Ballinasloe golfer was part of the Ireland team who recently won the European Team Championships for Golfers with a Disability.

Grenham’s round included three birdies and four bogeys, and he’s ready to lead the chasing pack tomorrow, behind Smith.

“It was a good round. I played well, bar a few loose balls off the tee. I made plenty of good putts to save some pars and bogeys,” he said.

The Ballinasloe golfer was part of the club’s team that reached the latter stages of the AIG Junior Cup last year, and he’s set for tough tournament conditions in the final round.

“It’s a test, but I’m used to playing on courses like this. It’s brilliant to be within touching distance of Bradley. Hopefully I can shoot a low one tomorrow and get my name on the trophy.”

Monkstown’s Colin O’Sullivan is in third place on +2, with Grenham’s Ireland teammate Alan Gaynor (Co. Sligo) a shot further back on +3. Ireland international Conor Stone (Carton House) and England’s Thomas Beard complete the top-5 on +6.

Fiona Gray (St. Patrick’s) is the leading woman in the field after the opening round. Gray is in T11 on +13 after an opening round of 84.

In the Stroke Play (Net) competition, O’Sullivan leads on -4, two clear of Smith, Grenham and Co. Meath’s Brendan Swan.

Foyle’s Declan Burns leads the Stableford (Net) competition. The Stableford format is for players competing with a Handicap Index of 18.5 or higher.  Burns is on 42 points, four clear of Paralympic legend Michael McKillop. The Cushendall golfer is on 38 points.

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