McBride tied for the lead after day one at Alps de Roquetas de Mar

Mark McGowan

Paul McBride (Photo by Oliver Hardt/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Paul McBride has a share of the lead after the opening round of the Alps Tour’s de Roquetas de Mar event in southeastern Spain after a seven-birdie haul saw him post -5 and end the day in a two-way tie.

The Dubliner, who began the tournament on the 10th, carded five straight pars out of the gate before opening his birdie account on the 15th and following with another on 16, before going par-birdie to close out the opening nine.

His first dropped shot of the day came on one, but he got that shot back on the par-5 third and moved to -4 with a birdie-three at the next. His second and final bogey arrived on the fifth, but he responded with back-to-back birdies on six and seven and closed out with two pars to post his best opening score of the season and occupy a share of the lead with Eemil Alajarvi of Finland.

“I played very well today,” a delighted McBride said afterwards. “Hit the ball very well which is key around this course, I think. I found this course feels longer than courses we’ve played in recent weeks. I think driving is important this week as you can give yourself a lot of good opportunities from the fairway.

“Playing this morning was good but the weather is the same tomorrow so it will probably even itself out.”

When asked about the potential winning score on Friday, McBride commented: “I’m not sure what the winning score will be. It is so difficult to tell as the weather on Friday looks very windy. We will see what happens.”

It appears as though all Irish hopes for the week rest on McBride’s shoulders, with Marc Boucher next best placed of the sextet on level par, one ahead of Michael Young at +1 and two ahead of Brandon St. John and Robert Moran, while James Sugrue is a further two off the pace at +4.


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