Fanagan and Taylor the leaders after Day 1 in Douglas

Jody Fanagan (Milltown) leads the way in the European Senior Men's Championship. Photo: Thos Caffrey / Golffile.

Former Ireland Senior Men’s Amateur champion Jody Fanagan said he was surprised to go so low in the opening round of the European Senior Men’s Championship at Douglas Golf Club on Thursday.

The Milltown clubman got to -7 after a fabulous round in perfect conditions early in the day and he was joined by Alison Taylor (Malahide) who took the lead in the Ladies’ event after she grinded out -3 in the sun.

Fanagan is closely followed by Alan Condren (Greystones) on -5 with two more Irish, local John O’Brien (Castlemartyr) and Jim Carvill (Banbridge) all in the top four. Eitenne Wehrli (Malmesbury Golf Club) is the leading international challenger. Meanwhile, Taylor is the only Irish in the top five of the Ladies’ section.


“It crept up on me. I was tipping along at -1 or -2 and then suddenly, the lads were laughing at me, I was holing everything,” said Fanagan.

“Today was a perfect day, off at 7.30am, no wind, not too hot, the greens were lovely, lovely speed, they were fair and I took advantage.

“We were chatting last night about what kind of score you might need and it’s always very hard to gauge. Anything under par is always good but when you get a few more like that you are very very happy.

“With the seniors it’s not like we go from one tournament to another so you want to be in contention.

“Europeans are obviously very big and it’s nice to be up there from the start. It is exciting, having it in Ireland is great.”

Fanagan teed off early alongside reigning champion James Crampton (Spalding) and it was the Dubliner who really made the most of his chances in his opening round. He was -2 through the front nine and then birdies on 11, 12 and 15, followed by a superb eagle on 18, rounded things off.

In the Ladies’ section Taylor carded six birdies on her way to a 70, and a one stroke lead over three-time winner Macarena Campomanes (Real Club de la Puerta de Hierro) and Sylvie Clausset (Royal Bercuit Golf Club).

Taylor had three bogeys in her first seven holes but with experience playing Senior Cup for Laytown and Bettystown, she used her links knowledge to turn things around and four birdies between the 10th and 15th put her on top of the leaderboard.

“It exceeds my expectations,” said Taylor.

“I just grabbed my chances wherever I could. I was playing for the centre of the greens and I got up and down when I got into a bit of trouble.

“I thought it was playing very like a links here. I was trying to play different versions of shots than you would play for parkland normally. And I had my luck with the putts as well, took them when I could.

“I am thrilled but I am not going out until 3.10pm tomorrow. Hanging around tomorrow is going to be difficult. I know it’s so hard to play to your handicap when you are low so I am just delighted.

“The golfing gods were with me, definitely.”

Check out the Day 1 leaderboard

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