Dream start for Ireland at Eisenhower Trophy in Carton

Bernie McGuire
Bernie McGuire

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After a dream start, Ireland are second, just two shots behind leaders Denmark at the World Amateur Team Championship.

The smiles widened as the putts lengthened. From 36 feet at the 15th, from 51 feet at the 6th and 54 feet at the 12th, Robin Dawson wielded the putter like a magic wand, his ball disappearing from ever increasing and improbable positions. It all added up to a magical opening round of 65 that propelled Ireland inside the medal positions on 10 under par at close of play at Carton House.

“I couldn’t ask for any more on day one,” said team captain John Carroll, whose charges were top of the leaderboard at lunchtime.

It was an early start for the home players with Kinsale’s John Murphy (69) first off at 7.56am on the Montgomerie. Conor Purcell (69) from Portmarnock followed Murphy down the 11th but they did not catch the early birds. By the time Robin Dawson made his way onto the course, Ireland were two over – Purcell bogeyed 11; Murphy slipped up at 12 – and struggling for momentum until Dawson uncovered his putter.

“I could hear a clap every time Rob hit a putt so that could only be a good thing,” said Murphy wearing a smile.

With his first stroke of the blade, Dawson converted a birdie putt from eight feet though he could not know at that point how ordinary it would seem. At the next hole, which both of his teammates bogeyed, he rolled it home from 54 feet, a raking birdie putt that travelled almost the width of the green.

“When you make one [birdie] you want to make another one,” Dawson explained afterwards. “I gave myself a lot of opportunities and I managed to take a lot of them. Funnily enough, I didn’t actually birdie the easier holes. That’s the way golf is sometimes.”

The 13th proved a case in point. A downhill par-four measuring 338 yards, Dawson’s drive ran through the green but he failed to get up and down, and had to settle for par.

Another chance almost went amiss at the par-five 15th. Playing his second with an iron, the ball finished just above the bunker, leaving him an awkward stance. He could only pitch it 12 yards right of the flag. It was an outside chance but once more the putter obliged.

Further birdies at the 17th, his seventh, and the 1st, his ninth, got him to minus five, and although he failed to make gains at the two remaining par5s, Dawson finished the day seven under when he holed from 51 feet at the 6th.

“My all-round game was decent today,” Dawson surmised. “We knew coming into the week it was going to be a big birdie fest. It helps drive us on every time. I think making a lot of birdies is key out here and going low.”

For all his heroics with the blade, Dawson’s immaculate round was eclipsed. Denmark’s John Axelson managed eight under on the Monty although it is India’s Rayham Thomas who leads the individual standings after posting a nine-under 64 on the O’Meara.

Denmark’s total of 12 under, courtesy of Axelson’s 64 and a 68 from Rasmus Hojgaard, is the leading team score. Ireland are next best on minus 10 – Murphy and Purcell both contributed 69. India are tied with Switzerland on nine under though they will play the Montgomerie in round two while Ireland and Denmark tackle the O’Meara.

“Tomorrow is a new day again,” cautioned Ireland captain John Carroll. “We’ll start from fresh again tomorrow morning and hopefully something similar.”

Confidence rather than caution is the feeling among the players.

“We’re all in good form and playing well,” said John Murphy, whose round featured an eagle and five birdies. “We got the tough bit out of the way and that was getting started, getting into it with all the home expectations. I think we can stay in cruise mood now and see what happens the next few days.”

A bogey at the 10th meant Conor Purcell finished as he started but the golf in between was of a high order. He made three birdies in four holes from the 13th and repeated that run on the front nine with gains at six, eight and nine.

“It’s good going out there and you get a clap for hitting a good shot,” Purcell reflected after the round. “Some people would think there’s pressure on us but I think any time you can play under pressure it’s somewhat a privilege to be in that position and to have all the spotlight on us.”

The spotlight returns on Thursday afternoon. Round two for Ireland begins at 12.15pm.

Round One Scores (complete)
132 Denmark (Axelsen 64, Hojgaard 71, Hojgaard 68)
134 Ireland (Murphy 69, Purcell 69, Dawson 65)
137 India (Kaul 73, Bedi 74, John Thomas 64)
137 Japan (Kanaya 66, Nakajima WD, Imano 71)
137 Switzerland (Freiburghaus 72, Cohen 65, Ettlin 73)
138 Portugal (Lopes 72, Girao 71, Lencart 67)
138 Republic of Korea (Choi 71, Jang 73, Oh 67)
139 Austria (Steinlechner 71, Regner 70, Lipold 69)
139 Canada (Bernard 74, Rank 68, Savoie 71)
139 New Zealand (Ieremia 70, Mountcastle 73, Hillier 69)
140 Chile (Morgan Birke 72, Errazuriz 68, Gana 80)
140 England (Petrozzi 70, Waite 71, Jordan 73)
140 France (Gandon 75, Lacroix 70, Veyret 71)
140 Spain (Pastor 70, Del Rey 70, Hidalgo 73)
140 Thailand (Hamamoto 74, Kaewkanjana 66, Chothirunrungrueng 75)
140 United States of America (Morikawa 72, Suh 71, Hammer 71)
141 Argentina (Schonbaum 71, Fernandez de Oliveira 68, Contini 73)
141 Australia (Lee 72, Micheluzzi 69, Wools-Cobb 71)
141 Dominican Republic (Valverde A 71, Pena 71, Guerra 70)
141 Italy (Manzoni 73, Mazzoli 79, Scalise 71)
141 Norway (Hovland 70, Reitan 71, Volden 71)
141 Sweden (Widing 71, Gillberg 70, Nilehn 74)
141 Wales (Chamberlain 69, Hapgood 72, Williams 71)
141 Zimbabwe (Allard 73, Amm 68, Krog 74)
142 Czech Republic (Zuska 71, Hruby 73, Zach 71)
142 Poland (Pakosch 71, Pedryc 71, Szmidt 71)
143 Colombia (Ramirez Velandia 70, Restrepo 73, Ardila 73)
143 Germany (Hammer 77, Long 74, John 69)
143 Peoples Republic of China (Chen 77, Liang 72, Zhang 71)
143 South Africa (Saulez 70, Nienaber 73, Mitchell 78)
144 Belgium (Dumont de Chassart 71, De Bondt 74, de Wouters d’Oplinter 73)
144 Bermuda (Dillas 72, Ming 77, Campbell 72)
144 Netherlands (Ji 70, Kraai 74, van Tilburg 71)
144 Peru (Zubiate 71, Freundt-Thurne 74, Barco 70)
144 Scotland (Lumsden 71, Scott 71, Walker 71)
145 Mexico (Pereda 73, Terrazas 71, Ortiz Becerra 72)
145 Puerto Rico (Esteve 74, Alverio 71, Morales 79)
145 Venezuela (Garcia 68, Brauckmeyer 77, Prieto 82)
146 Croatia (Buerk 73, Stepinac 71, Vucemil 71)
146 Estonia (Hellat 75, Jegers 73, Turba 71)
146 Guatemala (Villavicencio Calderon 71, Castellanos Conde 78, Gurtner 71)
146 Hong Kong, China (Cheung 75, D’Souza 82, Ng 73)
146 Singapore (Ho 76, Lee 77, Foo 70)
147 Finland (Mahonen 75, Honkala 72, Valimaki 71)
147 Iceland (Sveinbergsson 71, Juliusson 73, Petursson 74)
147 Serbia (Cvetkovic 77, Dimitrijevic 78, Gudelj 70)
148 Brazil (Ishii 77, Park 73, Machado 75)
148 Morocco (Id Omar 74, Raouzi 74, Dahmane 75)
148 Qatar (Al Kaabi 72, Al Kuwari 86, Al Shahrani 76)
148 Slovakia (Brezovsky 75, Mach 73, Lucansky 80)
148 Uruguay (Reyes 73, Teuten 71, Alvarez 75)
149 Costa Rica (Gagne 73, Chaplet 77, Ortiz 76)
149 Turkey (Esmer 78, Yamac 71, Acikalin 75)
150 Luxembourg (Weis 71, Weis 71, Winandy 71)
150 Saudi Arabia (Almulla 73, Alsakha 77, Attieh 77)
151 Malta (Borg 81, Critien 75, Micallef 76)
152 Slovenia (Trnovec 71, Potocar 75, Burkelca 77)
152 Taipei, Chinese (Wang 71, Lai 77, Ho 76)
153 Liechtenstein (Schredt 71, Schreiber 71, Schredt 71)
154 Republic of Moldova (Coica 83, Volostnykh 71, Podgainii 85)
155 Guam (Camacho 75, Manalo 82, Poe 80)
156 Panama (Ducruet 79, Cargiulo 83, Ordonez 77)
156 United Arab Emirates (Al Jasmi 73, Skaik 71, Thabet 71)
157 Cayman Islands (Hastings 78, Wight 71, Jarvis 79)
158 Bulgaria (Marinov 81, Savov 71, Staykov 71)
161 Lithuania (Vaicius 71, Momkus 86, Markevicius 77)
161 Nigeria (Thompson 71, Inalegwu 81, Thompson 71)
164 Ghana (Angel 82, Dogbe 82, Kusi-Boateng 90)
167 Haiti (Brandt 95, Saint-Fort 88, Mehu 79)
175 Armenia (Balyan 84, Karakhanyan 91, Saghatelyan 103)
175 Iraq (Al-Hashimi 90, Barnouti 93, Radee 85)
193 Gabon (Illien 84, Perez Ayo 109)

World Amateur Team Championships
At Carton House, Maynooth, Kildare/Dublin, Ireland
Round One Scores (Complete)
64 M J Axelsen (DEN); O R John Thomas (IND):
65 O P Cohen (SUI); M R Dawson (IRL):
66 O S Kaewkanjana (THA); M T Kanaya (JPN):
67 M P Lencart (POR); M S Oh (KOR):
68 M A Errazuriz (CHI); O D Amm (ZIM); M G Rank (CAN); O J Garcia (VEN); M L Scalise (ITA); O M Fernandez de Oliveira (ARG); M R Hojgaard (DEN):
69 M A John (GER); O B Chamberlain (WAL); M C Purcell (IRL); O D Hillier (NZL); M D Micheluzzi (AUS); M J Murphy (IRL); M J Suh (USA); M L Lipold (AUT); O S Zach (CZE):
70 O A Del Rey (ESP); M B Gudelj (SRB); O D Ieremia (NZL); M F Lacroix (FRA); M G Foo (SGP); O G Petrozzi (ENG); M I Ramirez Velandia (COL); M J Guerra (DOM); O J Ji (NED); M L Barco (PER); M M Saulez (RSA); O M Waite (ENG); M N Regner (AUT); O O Gillberg (SWE); O V Hovland (NOR); O V Pastor (ESP); M V Veyret (FRA):
71 M A Dumont de Chassart (BEL); M A Girao (POR); M A Pedryc (POL); M C Hammer (USA); M D Gurtner (GUA); M D Imano (JPN): 71 O D Volostnykh (MDA); M H Choi (KOR); O H Zhang (CHN); M J Savoie (CAN); O K Reitan (NOR); M M Alverio (PUR); M N Hojgaard (DEN); M P Pakosch (POL); M R Lumsden (SCO); M R Pena (DOM); O T Widing (SWE):
72 M A Ortiz Becerra (MEX); M C Morikawa (USA); O E Liang (CHN); M G Morgan Birke (CHI); O J Dillas (BER); O J Freiburghaus (SUI); O J Hapgood (WAL); O J Volden (NOR); M M Honkala (FIN); M M Lee (AUS); O S Al Kaabi (QAT); M S Wools-Cobb (AUS); M V Lopes (POR); O W Campbell (BER):
73 O A Hidalgo (ESP); M A Juliusson (ISL); M C Ardila (COL); M E Restrepo (COL); M E Walker (SCO); M G Manzoni (ITA); O I Vucemil (CRO); O J Allard (ZIM); M J de Wouters d’Oplinter (BEL); M J Turba (EST); O K Al Jasmi (UAE); M K Jegers (EST); O K Kaul (IND); O K Mountcastle (NZL); O L Buerk (CRO); O L D’Souza (HKG); O L Ettlin (SUI); M L Gagne (CRC); O L Park (BRA); O M Contini (ARG); O M Jordan (ENG); M M Reyes (URU); M M Steinlechner (AUT); M O Almulla (KSA); O P Hruby (CZE); M P Mach (SVK); M R Pereda (MEX); M S Jang (KOR): M S Scott (SCO); O T Ng (HKG); O T Williams (WAL); M W Nienaber (RSA):
74 O A Bedi (IND); M A De Bondt (BEL); M A Id Omar (MAR); M B Petursson (ISL); O F Nilehn (SWE); M G Sveinbergsson (ISL); M H Bernard (CAN); M H Long (GER); M J Esteve (PUR); O J Zuska (CZE); O K Hamamoto (THA); M O Raouzi (MAR); M P Freundt-Thurne (PER); O S Kraai (NED); O S Krog (ZIM); M T Yamac (TUR):
75 M A Villavicencio Calderon (GUA); M C Hellat (EST); O C Weis (LUX); M F Alvarez (URU); O G Weis (LUX); O H Machado (BRA); M J Gandon (FRA); M L Acikalin (TUR); M M Brezovsky (SVK); O M Cheung (HKG); M N Teuten (URU); O N van Tilburg (NED); M R Camacho (GUM); O R Critien (MLT); M S Dahmane (MAR); M S Zubiate (PER); M V Mahonen (FIN); O V Potocar (SLO); O W Chothirunrungrueng (THA):
76 O A Al Shahrani (QAT); M A Ortiz (CRC); O A Schonbaum (ARG); O D Winandy (LUX); O E Schreiber (LIE); M J Ho (SGP); O J Micallef (MLT); O M Stepinac (CRO); M S Valimaki (FIN); M W Wang (TPE); M Y Ho (TPE):
77 M A Alsakha (KSA); M C Lai (TPE); M D Cvetkovic (SRB): 77 O D Ishii (BRA); M D Lee (SGP); M E Valverde A (DOM); O F Schredt (LIE); O G Markevicius (LTU); M K Attieh (KSA); O K Brauckmeyer (VEN); O K Burkelca (SLO); M M Hammer (GER); O M Ming (BER); O M Ordonez (PAN); M P Chaplet (CRC); O R Staykov (BUL); O Y Chen (CHN):
78 M H Esmer (TUR); O J Hastings (CAY); M J Szmidt (POL); M M Dimitrijevic (SRB); M M Mitchell (RSA); O M Trnovec (SLO); M P Castellanos Conde (GUA):
79 O A Jarvis (CAY); M E Morales (PUR); O J Ducruet (PAN); O J Mehu (HAI); M S Mazzoli (ITA); O S Schredt (LIE):
80 M B Lucansky (SVK); M D Poe (GUM); O J Thompson (NGR); M T Gana (CHI):
81 O A Borg (MLT); M A Terrazas (MEX); O G Inalegwu (NGR); O V Marinov (BUL):
82 O A Angel (GHA); O D Savov (BUL); O E Prieto (VEN); O P Wight (CAY); M R Manalo (GUM); O Y Dogbe (GHA):
83 O A Coica (MDA); O A Skaik (UAE); O L Cargiulo (PAN):
84 O A Illien (GAB); O M Vaicius (LTU); O R Balyan (ARM):
85 O A Podgainii (MDA); O A Radee (IRQ); O O Thompson (NGR):
86 O D Momkus (LTU); O J Al Kuwari (QAT):
87 O S Thabet (UAE):
88 O R Saint-Fort (HAI):
90 O H Al-Hashimi (IRQ); O K Kusi-Boateng (GHA):
91 O L Karakhanyan (ARM):
93 O L Barnouti (IRQ):
95 O M Brandt (HAI):
103O A Saghatelyan (ARM):
109O D Perez Ayo (GAB):
WDM K Nakajima (JPN);

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