David Higgins and Damien McGrane have both got off to fast starts carding a pair of 68s in the opening round of the PGA Playoffs Walton Heath.
The top two from this year’s Irish Order of Merit only trail the first round leader Richard Wallis by one as he carded an opening 67 on the Old Course at the historic Surrey venue.
Higgins carded an error free round with four birdies and no drop shots to post his four under par total while McGrane dropped his only shot of the day on his second hole before shooting five birdies, four of which came on his front nine as he was out in 32.
In a low scoring day more than half of the 24-strong field shot under par with Simon Thornton sitting on level par in a tie for 17th.
All of which keeps him and at least a dozen others well in the hunt. With two rounds to go and conditions unlikely to be as a benign as they were on day one the Irish duo are in prime position and well in contention for the £3,500 first prize and a top four finish that will earn a place in next May’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
After his round , leader Richard Wallis was understandably happy but the pro from Canterbury Golf Club admitted: “I scored better than I played.
“I tried to keep it in play but kept hitting the ball into the heather. I had couple of lucky lies and I didn’t play particularly well.
“But it was good enough to just about keep it in play. That’s the name of the game round here. Keep it on the fairways and you’ve got shots but land in the heather too often and you’re in trouble.”
“But I can’t grumble and am obviously very happy with the start.”
Thornton tees off his second round at 10:10am while Higgins and McGrane are off in the last two groups at 10:50 and 11am respectively.