Conor O’Rourke’s round of 62 leaves the Irishman in joint second after the opening day of the Challenge Tour’s Dormy Open at Askersunds Golfklubb in Åmmeberg, with Rikard Karlberg (-6) leading the field on home soil.
O’Rourke’s strong opening round of five-under-par leaves the Kildare man alongside Englishman Brandon Robinson Thompson and Adam Blomme – the highly touted Swede looking for his maiden win on the tour.
The Naas Golf Club alum opened his strong round of golf with on-and-off birdies in the opening five holes which left him three under after through five.
A bogey on the sixth may have flustered others, but the Irishman steadied the ship by parring the following hole before consecutive birdies on the eighth and ninth sent O’Rourke into the back nine on four under par. A birdie on the 12th continued the Irishman’s run of red scores but would give a shot back on the 14th.
Just as he did after his only bogey on the front nine, O’Rourke remained calm and played the following two holes to par, while a birdie on the 17th topped off an impressive round of golf for the man looking for his first tour victory.
Unfortunately for those flying the Irish flag, O’Rourke was the only one of the five Irish players who shot below par on the first day of action in Sweden.
Stuart Grehan is the joint second-lowest Irish scorer on the opening day of play on level par after a give-and-take Round 1. The 30-year-old shot three birdies and as many bogeys as he played the round in a course average of 67.
Tied with Grehan in 61st in the standings is Conor Purcell, who also completed his first day with a round of 67. Purcell’s up-and-down front nine set the 26-year-old up for his back nine on one-over-par, and although he did fall to two-over on first, birdies on the fourth and fifth holes sent the Irishman in on level par.
Daniel Mulligan is a shot further back from Grehan and Purcell on one-over-par, with a double bogey on the back nine condemning the teenager to a plus score after a series of birdies and bogeys across his opening 18 holes.
The other golfer who played alongside O’Rourke in Finland was Paul McBride, although he doesn’t look likely to replicate his strong showing from last week. McBride started as he would go on with a bogey on his first hole of the day, scoring in the black three more times as Ireland’s lowest scorer last time out in Finland slumped to a birdie-less opening round.
The second round of action at the Askersunds Golfklubb gets underway tomorrow at 7:30 a.m.