Tom McKibbin was left ruing spoiling a superb start to the Orlando International Amateur Championship in Florida having been in contention on four-under par through five holes on day one of the three-day event at the Orange County National Golf Club Centre.
However, McKibbin then bogeyed the next three holes and doubled the par-4 13th to be back to one-over before finishing birdie, bogey, par, birdie and bogey in a disappointing two-over par 74 on the Crooked Cat course and one of two courses at Orange County to be hosting the event.
McKibbin, contesting the event for a second year running, was sharing 78th place in the 204-player field at the end of play while fellow Irishman Joe Lyons kick-started his round in sensational manner eagling the par-5 first hole at Crooked Cat.
Galway golfer Lyons, the 2007 West of Ireland champion, then pared his next eight holes ahead of a horror inward nine, sandwiching a 16th hole birdie among double-bogeys on 15 and 17 followed by a bogey on 18 having already suffered back-to-back bogeys on 10 and 11.
American Greyson Porter leads the way by four shots with a nine-under par 63.
Porter, a junior at Florida State, had a productive year in which he was runner-up at the New Year’s Invitational, T-55 at the Jones Cup and T-9 at the Oglethorpe Invitational and like McKibbin, who also has enjoyed a winning year, the Orlando International represents a final shot at glory in 2018.
Porter leads a group of three players who posted 5-under 67 in the opening round. That group includes College of Charleston junior Michael Sass, Western Kentucky’s Linus Lo and Alabama’s Canon Claycomb..
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