Former Irish international Ronan Mullarney’s sizzling start sees him soar into the lead in the Canaries with a super 62

Ralph Casey

Ronan Mullarney (Photo Alps Tour Golf/ Federico Capretti)

Galway’s Ronan Mullarney has shot a sensational nine-under-par 62 to soar into the lead at this week’s Alps Tour tournament in the Canaries.

Mullarney was as hot as the Canary Islands’ weather with an eagle, seven birdies and no bogies in a sizzling run of form that put the young Irishman (27) two ahead of the chasing pack back on seven under.

Another good weekend for the former Irish international men’s amateur would almost certainly see him qualify for one of the five automatic tour cards for the next step up, the Challenge Tour, that are on offer to the players occupying the top five spots of the Alps Tour Order of Merit.


Speaking after his brilliant first round, Mullarney said: “I’m very pleased, I played nice and putted quite well. Today I was able to birdie a lot of the par 5s and one eagle which definitely helped. The course is nice, the practice putting green is different than the course so it took a little while to get used to while I got out there.” He added that he’s “usually fairly aggressive off the tees hitting a lot of drivers, and I plan to keep doing that the next two rounds and hopefully I keep putting well.”

Mullarney has already won the 2023 Gösser Open this year and leads Belgium’s Kevin Hesbois, Netherland’s Bob Geurts and Italy’s Davide Buchi who are in a three-way tie for 2nd place at 7 under-par. 

Shot of the day (or two) probably came from Italy’s Davide Buchi who made an unbelievable albatross on the 500 metre par 5, 3rd hole. 

Just one shot back, at 6 under-par are France’s Oihan Guillamoundeguy, Ireland’s Michael Young and Spanish amateur Jose Antonio Sintes Navarro. 

Young carded six birdies, going bogey free and is primed for his best finish of the season while Paul McBride, runner up at the Alps Tour’s previous Arravel Golf Open, made four birdies and two bogeys enroute to a two-under 69 that leaves him tied for 31st.

This is the 4th edition of the 2023 Fred Olsen Alps De La Gomera after its previous three editions which were hosted in 2018, 2019 and 2022. 

The players were able to compete under perfect weather conditions which favored good scoring opportunities as they began the tournament with sunny skies and minimal light winds.  

Mullarney currently sits in 2nd place in the Order of Merit Rank and captured his 1st full-field professional win at the 2023 Gösser Open which took place in May. He previously had played in some events in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic began but this is his 1st full year on the Alps Tour. Mullarney turned professional in 2019 and competed in the 2022 Open Championship. 

Kevin Hesbois from Belgium, 32 years old who currently represents Ternesse Golf & Country Club, concluded his 1st round with a 7 under-par, 64 and is one of the three players tied for 2nd place only 2 strokes back. He made an eagle, 6 birdies and a bogey during his opening round.

After his round, Hesbois commented on how well he played, “Today was fun and I obviously played well all day. On the front nine, I hit it close a couple times which helped create the momentum for the round. I was able to finish strong as well which is always nice when you have it going low.”

Hesbois went on to add that: “course is really good. Conditions are good and promote low scoring. Wind was a small factor. The warmth was harder to manage. I have no real expectations this week. Just going to keep focusing on the right things. Only goal is to give myself as many birdie chances as possible and stay as patient as possible. Scores will take care of themselves.”


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