Fog causes major disruption at Challenge Tour’s Open de Bretagne

Mark McGowan

Niall Kearney (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

The opening round of the 16th edition of the French event, staged at the picturesque Pléneuf layout, was delayed by five hours and 20 minutes before play was suspended for a further hour and change.

Of the six Irish in the field, just four would see action on day one, and Dermot McElroy and Niall Kearney shot matching one-under 69s to lie in provisional 17th place, while Royal Portrush’s Jack Madden, who recently graduated from Arkansas State, shot +3. Ruaidhri McGee endured a forgettable day on the course, but both Cormac Sharvin and Jonathan Caldwell will have to wait until Friday morning to get their tournaments underway.

It was Rikard Karlberg who shone brightest in the afternoon, carding a round of 65, five under par, to lead the way at the end of day one.


The Dutchman, who finished tied ninth last week, bogeyed the first but responded with gains at the third and seventh hole before a birdie-birdie-eagle run from the ninth saw him charge up the leaderboard.

He picked up another shot at the par-three 13th to extend his lead at the top, and even with a bogey at his final hole, the 36-year-old was pleased with his days work, especially following the delay.

“When I teed off at the first hole, I almost lost a ball and that was because I felt exhausted,” he said.

“With such a delay, you’re trying to prepare yourself to tee off for over six hours, so I told myself I needed to re-focus and get some energy back. Your adrenaline starts pumping when you’re on the course, so the energy levels picked up and it kicked me into gear, and I was able to put some good swings together.

“If you’re good off the tee you can give yourself a lot of opportunities here. I did pretty well with that today. There were only a few holes coming in where I was just in the rough, which made a huge difference, but I kept everything in play and kept double bogeys off the card. I putted really well which made everything a lot easier.

“It’s been two years of struggle. I tried to make golf easier but actually made it harder for myself. Now I think I’m doing the things that make it easier and that’s what came together during the last round in Czech Republic, and I brought that into the round today. I hope to keep the form going this week.

“I have my nephew on the bag. He’s my brother’s son and he loves golf, so I brought him out in Holland and again this week and he’s doing a great job.”

A group of three players, including Matt Ford, Jarand Ekeland Arnoy and Maxime Radureau sit a further shot back at four under par.

Players who have not started their first round will begin at 7:40am local time, while players whose first round was suspended due to fading light will resume at 8:30am.


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