Ireland has 21 players in the field but only Rory McIlroy and Peter Lawrie managed to beat par on a perfect day at Adare Manor.
Here's your guide to the fighting Irish.
(* started at the 10th)
-2 70 Rory McIlroy* (36+34)
Superb striking from long-hitting ‘Rors’. Reduced the 548-yard 18th to a 340-yard drive and a five-iron and made just two short game mistakes that led to bogeys. He said: “If I can play like that for the next three days, I won’t be far off.”
-1 71 Peter Lawrie (38+33)
Four birdies in the last six holes for the Spanish Open champion. He said: “I struggled on the front nine but holed a few nice putts coming in. If you miss the fairway by an inch, it’s hard to get the ball close.”
E 72 Padraig Harrington* (37+35)
Two under after eight holes, Harrington confessed that he lost his way in the middle of the round. He said: “You just have to stay patient. I have work to do but I am not out of it.”
E 72 Darren Clarke (35+37)
Happy to birdie the last, Clarke said: “I’m very pleased. I could have let it get away from me and I didn’t.”
E 72 Colm Moriarty* (35+37)
Fantastic day for the Glasson man, who is playing on a sponsor’s invitation. Two birdies and two bogeys leaves the Challenge Tour player tied with superstars Harrington and Clarke.
+1 73 Paul McGinley (37+36)
Missed just three fairways but complained that his short game wasn’t sharp enough on a “monster course.” He said: “It is a hell of a tough golf course now and they have overdone the new tees. The length of second shots doesn’t match up to the size of the greens, especially when they are firm.”
+2 74 Graeme McDowell* (38+36)
Holed an amazing bunker shot on the 12th for one of just three birdies but hit just four fairways. He said: “I can’t play a lot worse than that. I’ve had two weeks off but it feels likes a month and someone stole my clubs in that month.”
+2 74 Michael Hoey (38+36)
Struggling to shake off a cold, Hoey was happy to make five birdies in his 74. He said: “My short game was quite sharp and I was grinding it out. My goal is the cut.”
+2 74 Gary Murphy (38+36)
Disappointed with a bogey at the last, Murphy needs a good cheque to move up from 140th in the Order of Merit.
+3 75 Damian Mooney (39+36)
A 17 shot improvement on last year’s opening 92. Two birdies in the last seven holes for the Belfast man gives him a chance of making the cut. He said: “After the front nine, I got the monkey of the 92 off my back.”
+4 76 Peter Martin (39+37)
The Belfast pro had former Antrim full forward Donagh Finnegan on the bag and did well to shoot four-over after taking a double bogey six at the first.
+4 76 Damien McGrane (39+37)
A bad day on the greens for the Kells man as he took 35 putts - three-putting three times.
+4 76 Pat Murray (40+36 )
Two bogeys in the last three hurt the Limerick amateur, who made the cut last year. Four over par after seven holes, he was still happy with his effort.
+5 77 Mark Staunton* (38+39)
Winner of last year’s Irish Order of Merit, the Ballinasloe man warmed up for next week’s BMW PGA at Wentworth with two birdies and seven bogeys.
+7 79 Peter O’Keeffe* (40+39)
No birdies for the Douglas giant on his Irish Open debut. A double bogey at his 17th hole hit hard and he needs a miracle to make the cut.
+7 79 Brendan McGovern* (41+38)
After a birdie at his opening hole, the 10th, it slipped away for the Headfort pro as he racked up three bogeys and two doubles.
+ 8 80 Leslie Walker (43+37)
Did well to shoot 80 after going to the turn in seven over par. A bogey at the last took the gloss off a battling back nine.
+8 80 David Higgins (39+41)
Tough day at the office for the Waterville man as he made just one birdie.
+8 80 Glen Robinson (39+41)
A birdie at the 18th eased the pain for the Coollattin professional after a damaging double bogey at the 17th.
+9 81 Michael Lavelle* (38+43)
Nightmare professional debut for the former cabinet maker from Belmullet with birdies at his 10th and 18th holes the highlights of a forgettable day.
+13 85 Eamonn Brady* (44+41)
The Clontarf pro is propping up the field after five bogeys and four double bogeys.