Kennedy and Nolan make solid starts at South American Amateur

John Craven
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Max Kennedy. Photo by @melmaclaine

Max Kennedy and Liam Nolan both carded one-over par rounds of 73 to make solid starts to their respective South American Amateur bids in Ecuador.

Royal Dublin’s Kennedy recovered from an opening nine of 40 to make inroads on the leaderboard courtesy of four birdies in an inward half of 33.

Playing his golf out of the University of Louisville, Kennedy finds himself six shots adrift of overnight leaders Javier Santolaya and Julian Perico, but in familiar company alongside Nolan at one-over.

The pair sit in a tie for 17th with Galway’s Nolan notching two birdies that were cancelled out by three bogeys in his opening salvo. Nolan earned a call-up to Golf Ireland’s High Performance Panel for 2023 and he’ll no doubt be targeting a big week in Quito to kickstart his season.

Meanwhile in the women’s division, Clodagh Coughlan and Kate Dwyer fly the flag for Ireland but both players have a mountain to climb after a difficult opening day.

With Colombia’s Cristina Ochoa setting a lofty standard out in front after a six-under 66, Coughlan is best of the Irish raiders after a nine-over 81 left her in 20th spot heading into the day two.

The Douglas woman sits three shots clear of Maynooth student Dwyer who posted one birdie in a round of 84.

Given it’s the first competitive start of the year, coupled with the fact Maynooth last played tournament golf in October, it was always going to be a big ask to hit the ground running in South America but no doubt the Irish duo will come on for the experience regardless.

Just four players broke par on the opening day of the women’s event.

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