Dermot McElroy’s excellent run of form continued as he put himself in the mix on the PGA EuroPro Tour again with a fine start at the CPG Classic supporting England & Wales Blind Golf.
The Ballymena man won last week’s NI Open to secure his place in the field for next month’s ISPS HANDA World Invitational and has finished in the top-six in three of his five starts on the EuroPro Tour this season, including a tied-second at the PDC Championship last time out.
And he has started well this week, too, McElroy carding an eagle, five birdies and a bogey in a six-under 65 at Belton Woods Hotel to sit in a share of third place after the first round, three shots off the early lead.
Airdrie’s Greg Dalziel in top spot as nine birdies in a bogey-free 62 has him two strokes clear at this early stage, with Bath’s Josh Hilleard his closest competitor after he fired a 64.
McElroy rounds out the top-three alongside Silvermere’s Chris Gane and Gog Magog’s Paul Maddy, with the 28-year-old keen to produce another big finish that would bump him up the Order of Merit standings.
Only the top-five at the end of the season earn playing rights on next year’s Challenge Tour, with McElroy currently eighth.
Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan fresh off his win at The K Club yesterday also got off to a hot start with a three-under 68 consisting of four birdies and a bogey to sit tied-15th, while The K Club’s Conor O’Rourke was left to rue a double-bogey on his closing hole as six birdies and two bogeys prior to that resulted in a two-under 69.
Whitehead’s John-Ross Galbraith sits just outside the cut line in a share of 84th after a birdie, double-bogey and a bogey led to a two-over 73, while there were a trio of players that finished at five-over, well adrift of the cut line.
PGA Catalunya’s Luke Donnelly had two double-bogeys, two bogeys and a birdie in his 76, while Cork’s John Hickey had two double-bogeys, four bogeys and three birdies in an eventful round.
But Limerick’s Tim Rice will likely be the most disappointed on the course as he had an eagle and two birdies in his first four holes but collapsed with six bogeys and a double-bogey in a horror eight-hole stretch to eventually also finish with a 76.
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