McCormack one back as Byrne and Whelan lead amateur class on Toro Tour

Ronan MacNamara

Jake Whelan (Photo by David Cannon/R&A via Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Ireland’s Karl McCormack lies just one shot off the early lead after day one of the Toro Tour in Atalaya.

McCormack carded a three-under 68 to lie in a share of third place behind English duo Luke Woods and Harvey Byers.

McCormack flew out of the traps with an eagle on the par-5 2nd but gave those shots straight back over the third and fourth holes.

An erratic front nine was completed with a brace of birdies on the fifth and sixth and a bogey on nine before he steadied the ship with a stress free back nine.

Birdies on 14 and 18 saw McCormack home in 33 to edge into contention.

Amateurs Joseph Byrne and Jake Whelan are in close pursuit in eighth place on one-under after opening rounds of 70.

The pair also share the lead in the amateur class after they eagled the par-5 14th.

Byrne of Baltinglass also carded three bogeys and a brace of birdies while Munster Strokeplay champion Whelan (Grange) went on a run of three birdies in four holes but also blotted his card with four bogeys.

Galway’s Ronan Mullarney was pipped to the post in last week’s event and he is languishing in 25th on three-over after an opening 74.

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