Four tied for the lead at Irish Senior Men’s Amateur Open

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Eddie McCormack (Photo: Golf Ireland. David Lloyd / Golffile)

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Reigning European champion, Eddie McCormack (Galway Bay), is one of the early pace-setters as a quartet are tied at the top of the standings in the Irish Senior Men’s Amateur Open Championship.

Only eight players shot under-par on a difficult day for golf at the County Kildare venue and McCormack is joint-top alongside Shane Kenneally (Kinsale), Steven Graham (England) and Michael Mercier (USA) on three-under par.

Joe Lyons (Galway) is one shot further back alongside Philip Davidson (Knock) and Andrew Morris (Royal Portrush) while David Mulholland (Castlerock) is two shots adrift on one-under par.

McCormack will feel confident heading into the final two rounds at Moyvalley. He had six birdies in all on the day but a bogey on seven, and two more on his back nine hampered his finish.

“Was tough out there the last couple of holes so you had to be really on your game and have your gameplan worked out before you got to them,” said McCormack.

“I was always hitting 2 iron off the last hole anyway. Played with Alan Condren and he hit driver into the water. I had the gameplan worked out and stuck to it. I’m happier I stuck to it than I was with the scoring because you could gamble a bit out there and I wasn’t.

“It’s a long tournament, it’s 54 holes so just go again tomorrow. If I’m leading at the end of the day, or two behind or three behind or five behind, it doesn’t really matter you just go again tomorrow and try and shoot the best score you can.

“There is a long way to go yet, all I’m thinking about is bringing the wee fella to hurling this evening.”

McCormack was part of the morning wave, with Kenneally also making early headway. He had four birdies, only to drop a shot at the eighth. Mercier had two birdies on his front nine and back nine but lost a shot on the 12th.

England’s Graham is another player on form this week and he had five birdies, including a chip in on the 16thbut he also bogeyed the eighth and 17th.

“It wasn’t easy out there. I haven’t been playing much so coming in with no real form. Found something yesterday in the practise round with Jim Carvill and I was really pleased. I got off to a nice start. I had a couple of little bits of luck and missed a few putts but like everyone, you always could be better,” said Graham.

“The course was fantastic, the greens were a good pace. You felt like you could actually roll them without them getting away from you. It meant the mid-range putts you could have a little chase at. But the course was in fantastic condition and played tougher with the wind.

“I must be getting older because the ball is just not going as far as it used to.”

View the live scoring here

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