John Brady heads the Irish challenge after he fired a two-under-par 68 to sit just two shots behind England’s Billy McKenzie on four-under-par at the Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
The Rosslare man went one better than Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty who finds himself just three shots off the pace in 10th spot after a familiarly consistent 69 start.
Massereene’s Tiarnan McLarnon is two shots further back after a 71 to open his account while Dun Laoghaire’s Colin Woodroofe is one shot further adrift after a sound 72.
Rowland Castle’s Billy McKenzie remains the man to catch on four-under-par at the coveted event.
At the top, early starters certainly took advantage of ideal scoring conditions this morning in the first round of the54th Lytham Trophy. A breeze (no-one could call it a wind) came up later but still the conditions were better than for many years on the Fylde coast. Billy McKenzie, Rowlands Castle Golf Club, was early into the Clubhouse with 6 birdies in his 4 under par 66.
2017 Walker Cup Player Matthew Jordan from Royal Liverpool also took advantage of the fine weather with round of 67.There were 68’s too from Stonehaven’s Sam Locke and Ireland’s John Brady, who was disappointed not to have been lower after going out in 30 strokes to lie then 4 under par, but the most impressive 68 of the day came from Robin Williams who carded bogey free round.Nicholas Smits of Gog Magog Golf Club had a triple bogey six at the 9th (bunker trouble) and a quintuple nine at the 15th (two lost balls) but offset these with four birdies for a creditable 77.
Arrun Sigh Barr from Parkstone and a cousin of last year’s winner Jack had a 72 in an effort to keep the Lytham Trophy within the family.Remarkably the weather is expected to be even better for the next two days.