Grehan one shy as Irish start well in PGA Playoffs in Cyprus

Ronan MacNamara

Liam Grehan (Photo by Patrick Bolger/Getty Images)

Liam Grehan is just one shot off the pace after the opening round of the PGA Playoffs in Aphrodite Hills Golf Club, Cyprus.

The K Club man carded a three-under 68 with England’s Daniel Whitby Smith leading the way on four-under.

Standing at level-par after 12 holes, Grehan put on a sprint finish with a birdie on 14 and a round changing eagle on the par-5 18th.


Grehan had started well, carding a two on the par-3 5th before giving it back on the par-3 12th.

The 27-year-old won four times on the Irish PGA Region last year, finishing runner-up on the Order of Merit.

Winning in a field as good as this would surely trump his achievements from last year but the Mullingar native isn’t afraid to test himself against the best.

“To win a pro-am you have to go low, luckily I managed to do that a few times last year, the highlight being Millicent at the Club Pro Championship. 

“Even Damien McGrane was playing in that one so it was nice to know that on my day I can compete with the likes of him and the others.” 

It was a positive opening day for the Irish overall with Limerick’s Tim Rice and Banbridge’s Richard Kilpatrick both on level-par after opening 71s.

Order of Merit champion Kilpatrick was 12th at last year’s PGA Playoffs in Slieve Russell and he will be hoping to push his way into contention over the next 36 holes.

It was a mixed day for the four-time winner last term carding four birdies and four bogeys.

Kilpatrick started well with birdies on 3 and 6 moving him to two-under before two bogeys in three holes scuppered his momentum.

He threatened to play himself out of contention after successive bogeys on 12 and 13 but finished strong with birdies on 15 and 18.

Rice meanwhile had a rollercoaster round which started with three successive opening birdies.

The three-time winner last year bogeyed the 7th but returned to three-under with a birdie on 13.

Disaster struck as he double bogeyed both 14 and 15 to drop to one-over-par but he managed to get back to par with a birdie on 17.

Scoring HERE

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