Murphy and Hurley struggle as Paul jumps to the front in India

Ronan MacNamara

John Murphy (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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John Murphy and Gary Hurley have work to do to make the halfway cut at the Hero Indian Open as play was suspended for darkness on the opening day.

Kinsale’s Murphy will have to return on Friday morning to complete the final hole of his first round that had spiralled out of control after a solid 14 holes.

The 24-year-old had done brilliantly to battle back from a double-bogey on the par-5 18th (his 9th) with birdies on 1 and 5 but a chastening run of double bogey, bogey, double bogey from his 15th saw him tumble down the leaderboard to five-over and into a share of 83rd place.

West Waterford’s Hurley is three shots further back on eight-over after a disappointing opening 80.

Hurley got off to a disastrous start with an opening double bogey with another double coming on the par-3 5th and further bogeys on 4, 6 and 9, with the only positive a birdie on 8.

Having turned in 42, the 30-year-old limited the damage on the back nine with bogeys on 10 and 17.

Germany’s Yannik Paul continued his fine form with a seven-under 65 to lead by one.

“I obviously played well today,” he said. “I knew it was a challenging course but I just tried to focus on one shot at a time. I had a great finish, four birdies in the last four, that helps, but tomorrow is a new day so I’ll focus on what I can control and see where I end up.

“It’s my sixth week in a row so I took it pretty easy Monday through Wednesday because after a long stretch you can just feel it here, feel it there. I just played a nine hole pro-am yesterday afternoon then walked the back nine on Tuesday, just to conserve as much energy as I could because I knew it would be challenging here, mentally as well as with the golf shots.

“It’s a tricky course, I think you just have to be 100 per cent committed to every shot and 100 per cent focused. I don’t really have a number that I want to get to because that’s tough to control. I’m just trying to stay focused on my process and see where I end up come Sunday.”

The upper echelons of the leaderboard are packed with local talent with Honey Baisoya in second on -6  and Shubhankar Sharma and Angad Chema in fourth on four-under-par.

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