Kearney one off the lead in Czech Republic

Ronan MacNamara

Niall Kearney (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Niall Kearney is just one shot off the early lead after the opening round of the D+D Real Czech Challenge.

Kearney carded a bogey-free five-under 67 to share third place and he trails Wolfgang Glawe and Casey Jarvis after birdies on 2, 9, 10, 12 and 17.

Ruaidhri McGee, Cormac Sharvin, Paul Dunne and Jonathan Caldwell all face uphill tasks to make the halfway cut.


German amateur Glawe made a hole-in-one on his way to a six-under 66 to grab a share of the lead alongside Jarvis.

Playing in the final group of the day, the 20-year-old holed his tee shot from 216 yards at the par-three 15th before a fifth birdie of the round at the par-five 17th saw him match the clubhouse target at Panorama Golf Resort.

Jarvis had earlier birdied his final five holes to build on his runner-up finish last week in Denmark and set the early pace before Glawe’s memorable back-nine finish of his own in just his third European Challenge Tour start.

“I am really pleased with the way I played, especially tactically,” Glawe said.

“I hit the spots where I needed to and gave myself enough chances and made some really good putts at the end.”

Reflecting on his ace on his back nine, he added: “I was between a seven and an eight iron.

“Took the seven, got lucky that I hit it thin so it came up a bit short and it rolled in.”

South African Jarvis hit the turn in level par but found his mojo on the back nine as he made six birdies from the 12th in a flawless back nine for an impressive six-under 66.

Having shot a 59 to equal the lowest tournament round in Sunshine Tour history in April, the 19-year-old is now hoping he can capitalise on the momentum he has built in his game and claim a breakthrough professional title.

“I am hoping so,” he added. “I have come close a few times back home on the Sunshine Tour so I am just going to stay patient and have fun like I have been.”

The Challenge Tour is this week making its first visit to Panorama Golf Resort for the 11th edition of the D+D Real Czech Challenge and Jarvis was pleased with how he got to grips with the layout.

“I got off to a slow start, didn’t play great on the front nine,” he said. “Something clicked on the back nine and I made five birdies in a row coming in. Happy with that finish.

“On the front nine you are basically on top of a mountain! The back nine is a lot flatter and there are a lot more birdie opportunities.”

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