Thomas Byrne from Royal Curragh and Clandeboye’s Jessica Ross lead after the opening round of the Irish Men’s and Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Blainroe.
Ross opened with a 3-putt bogey on the first but recovered by the 5th, getting to 1-under par. Two costly double-bogeys on the 7th and 8th could have seen her tournament chances disappear, but the Chemical Engineer carded 4 birdies in her next 5 holes to reverse the damage, finally signing for a 1-under 74.
‘I didn’t get to play a practice round yesterday because of the weather but it was great to play the course today and play nicely, said Ross. ‘I made a few mistakes not knowing clubs off tees but apart from that, I was pretty solid. I had a lot of wedges shots in which contributed to a lot of my birdies. Anything from 100yards in I played quite well.’
Ross sits 3 shots clear of Gillian O’Leary (The Island), with Maria Dunne (Skerries) one shot further adrift.
Byrne will have a 1-stroke advantage over the trio of Joe Lyons (Galway), Simon Miskelly (Knock) and Paraic Connolly (Portmarnock Links) as he begins his second round at Blainroe on Saturday.
The Mechanical Engineer from Kildare dropped just two shots in his opening round of 69, with birdies on the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 18th contributing to his 3-under par total.
‘It was sort of cruise control; I didn’t do anything spectacular but didn’t do much wrong either. If I hadn’t of played the course yesterday, I wouldn’t have played as well, I knew where to miss it and where the greens were quick.’
An ex-hurler and footballer for Coill Dubh and Allenwood, Byrne is fresh on the Golf Ireland tournament scene, having played in just a couple of Mid-Amateurs and one West of Ireland Championship prior to this week.
‘I really made use of the par 5’s,’ Byrne continued. ‘I birdied them all. I felt that the greens were in great shape and were very, very true. If you started the putt on-line you were making it.’
Women’s scoring HERE
Men’s scoring HERE