Having not expected to be taking part, Castleknock’s Paul Coughlan leads the field by a single shot after day one of the AIG Irish Close at Galway Golf Club.
Coughlan, suffering a bout of food poisoning which he felt was going to rule him out of the event, was surprised he was able to play at all, “On Monday I definitely wasn’t playing”, he said, before adding, “even this morning I was 50-50.”
But take part he did and the old adage of ‘Beware the injured golfer’ rang true once more as he carded a superb 66, his lowest round of the year to hold a one stroke lead over David Brady (Sligo) and Shane McDermott (Cavan).
It wasn’t such a good day for defending champion Alex Gleeson who is in danger of missing the cut following his opening 75, which leaves him on five over.
“I was struggling off the tee and on the greens so it wasn’t ideal,” said Gleeson. “I’m just looking to play solidly tomorrow and give myself the best chance of qualifying.”
As things stand, Gleeson is two shots outside the projected cut. The top 64 progress to the matchplay stages. Currently, 70 players are plus three or better.
Round 1 Scores / AIG Irish Close / Galway Golf Club
66 P Coughlan (Castleknock)
67 D Brady (Co. Sligo); S Mc Dermott (Co. Cavan)
68 D Kitt (Athenry)
69 T Ford (County Sligo Golf Club); R Knightly (The Royal Dublin); J McCarthy (Stackstown); A Hill (Athenry); P Kerr (Royal Portrush); T Plunkett (Crover House)
70 J Walsh (Castle); M Shiel (Galway Bay); M Grehan (Tullamore); C Feeney (Co. Sligo); J Lyons (Galway); T Cleary (Woodstock); S Cullen (Slieve Russell); W Small (Tandragee); C Campbell (Warrenpoint)
71 B Anderson (The Royal Dublin); R McKinstry (Cairndhu); L Nolan (Galway); M O’Farrell (Galway); N Hearns (Mountrath); S Flanagan (Co. Sligo); T Nolan (Galway); R Cannon (Balbriggan); J Tuohy (Galway Bay); E Farrell (Ardee); C Rafferty (Dundalk); J Knipe (Royal Portrush); L Power (Galway); A McDaid (Palmerstown Stud); J Fox (Portmarnock)
72 C Hughes (Galway); J McVicker (Knock); J Temple (Portmarnock); D Coyle (Portmarnock); C Raymond (Newlands); D Foy (Laytown & Bettystown); J Brady (Rosslare); J Yates (Naas); J Fletcher (Warrenpoint); B Timlin (Galway); M Ryan (New Ross); R Black (Hilton Templepatrick); M Norton (Belvoir Park); A Ryan (Thurles); B Shally (Dromoland); H Foley (The Royal Dublin); R Moran (Castle); L Grehan (Mullingar); R O’Connor (Co. Sligo); W Russell (Clandeboye); T O’Connor (Athlone)
73 E Murphy (Dundalk); H Gillivan (Westport); C Butler (Kinsale); J Maginn (Mourne); J Hood (Galgorm Castle); C Ryan (Dun Laoghaire); R Pierse (Grange); J Doherty (Ballina); P Brennan (Belvoir Park); S Healy (The Royal Dublin); R Dawson (Tramore); O Crooks (Bushfoot); S Brady (Galway); R Mullarney (Galway); T McLarnon (Massereene)
74 C Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire); C Martin (Kilkenny); J Whelan (Newlands); J Blake (The Island); K McCarron (North West); C Denvir (Elm Park); A Hickey (Ballyhaunis); D Glynn (Galway Bay); G Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick); E Griffin (Waterford)
75 R Brazill (Naas); M McKinstry (Cairndhu); A Fahy (Dun Laoghaire); C Glennon (Glasson); T Smyth (Castle); S Kenneally (Kinsale); G Mann (Tullamore); T Collins (Dun Laoghaire); M Burke (Galway); A Gleeson (Castle); E Smith (Laytown & Bettystown); A Comerford (Galway); J Sugrue (Mallow); E McCormack (Galway Bay); R O’Doherty (Enniscrone)
76 K Lynch (Skibbereen); M McKenna (Dun Laoghaire); G Smyth (Clonmel); S McGlynn (Portmarnock); M Healy (Kinsale); C Nolan (Galway); J Mc Donnell (Forrest Little)
77 A Gaynor (Co. Sligo); J Quinn (The Island); D McAleenon (Edenmore); T Probst (Strandhill); R Dutton (Tandragee); J McKenna (St Patricks); T Mulligan (Laytown & Bettystown)
78 R Tighe (Elm Park); A Wilson (Portmarnock); A Mulholland (Castlerock); P Carey (Nenagh); E Collins (Laytown & Bettystown); S Desmond (Monkstown); D Reddan Jnr (Nenagh); J Mc Quaid (Rossmore)
79 R Browne (Castle); D O’Connor (Fota Island); M Murphy (Clandeboye )
80 M Power (Kilkenny); A Moore (Adare Manor); D Smith (Castle)
81 C Waters (Lahinch); S Doyle (Athlone); L O’Neill (Connemara)
82 C Kelly (Fort Lauderdale)
83 C Henry (Strandhill); C Dowling (Mallow)
84 N Carroll (Athlone); J Hickey (Cork)
NR J Foley (Letterkenny)