It was a wonderful day at Dromoland Castle and Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) made the most of it as he fired a four under par 68 to grab the overnight lead at the PGA Irish Club Professional Tournament sponsored by Carr Golf at Dromoland Castle GC.
Thornton sits one shot ahead of the in-form Eamonn Brady (Clontarf GC) with David Ryan (Cahir Park GC) and Joe Dillon (Headfort GC) tied for third after level par 72s.
Thornton made a blistering start to his round collecting birdies at the first and second. A run of pars followed before he fired another birdie salvo at the eighth, ninth and 10th. The 41-year-old reached six under par with a further birdie at the par four 15th but a double bogey finish at the par five 18th eventually saw him sign for a four under 68 (32/36).
Defending champion, David Higgins (Waterville Links), slipped to a five over par 77 that left him in a tie for 27th.
The second (and final) round gets underway today at 8am. Thornton will start at 11.40am in three ball featuring Brady and Dillon.
PGA Irish Club Professional Tournament sponsored by Carr Golf
Leading scores (Day On
1 Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) -4 68
2 Eamonn Brady (Clontarf Golf Club) -3 69
T3 David Ryan (Cahir Park Golf Club) E 72
T3 Joe Dillon (Headfort Golf Club) E 72
T5 Mark Murphy (Mount Wolseley Golf & CC). +1 73
T5 Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny GC) +1 73