Slow start for the Irish at Clutch Pro Tour season opener

Mark McGowan

Conor O'Rourke (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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After an opening 74, Jason Murphy is the best placed of the Irish after round one at the Clutch Pro Tour season opener at St. Mellion Golf Club, with Tom Dowdall, Conor O’Rourke and Daniel Mulligan close behind.

Described as being unlike any other course in Great Britain by none other than the Golden Bear himself, Jack Nicklaus, scoring proved difficult at the Nicklaus designed St. Mellion with just a dozen players breaking par.

Dundalk man Murphy carded five birdies on day one of the 54 hole event, but three bogeys and two double-bogeys did the damage as he’d settle for a tie for 28th on a day of struggles for the six-strong Irish contingent.

Dubliner Tom Dowdall is a stroke further back, tied for 46th at +3, with the K Club’s Conor O’Rourke and Portmarnock Links’ Daniel Mulligan one further adrift on +4.

Hermitage’s Rowan Lester and Clontarf’s Eoin O’Brien complete the Irish lineup, both signing for five-over 77s to lie tied for 85th in the 162-man field.

England’s Harry Ellis holds the solo first round lead at -5. The 2017 Amateur Championship winner has one professional victory, coming on the Alps Tour in 2020, and he leads the chasing trio of Sasha Lobel from the United States and English duo Barnes Wallis and Oliver Sullivan by one stroke, with 2020 Amateur Championship winner Joe Long among a five-man group tied for fifth at -2.



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