Challenge Tour: McGee best in Alps but positives all round

Gary Boyd. Picture © Getty Images 

Ruaidhri McGee continued his good run of form but there were also positives for the other four Irish in action in the Swiss Challenge presented by Association Suisse de Golf.

The Rosapenna touring pro shot a one under 70 to share 28th at Golf Sempachersee, three shots behind England’s Gary Boyd and Jack Senior.

Boyd is feeling inspired by the recent European Tour resurgence of his friend James Morrison, and the Englishman believes he is turning a corner of his own after he shot 66 for a share of the first round lead.

The 28 year old announced his arrival in the highest echelons of the game when he finished 50th in The 2010 Race to Dubai following a runner-up finish at the Czech Open and a top five at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, but has since suffered a steady decline in form.

Playing this week on an invite, however, the former Challenge Tour winner is brimful of confidence and believes a new fitness regime and a change in coach have put him back on the road to success.

Having watched his close friend and compatriot Morrison win at the Open de España four weeks ago, Boyd is ready to put himself in contention for a second career Challenge Tour title and begin the climb back to the top.

“I’ve only played twice this year and I’ve been lucky and thankful to get the invitations,” said Boyd.

“But I played well both times and I’ve been knocking on the door - I just need to hole a few more putts. 

"I feel my game is there to go out and win now, where 18 months ago it really wasn’t, it was pretty awful to be honest.

“When you’re hitting it 50 or 60 yards off line from the tee and you feel like you’re the red arrows out there, it’s not a nice place to be. 

"I wasn’t enjoying playing golf to be honest, every time I saw a shot go wayward I was wondering why. It was a big technical issue and the confidence goes from that.”

Boyd is 89th in the Race to Oman but McGee is eighth and playing with confidence after a tough rookie season that was curtailed by injury.

He was playing on a medical exemption just a few weeks ago but is now full exempt and contending every week.

That’s where every other Irish player would like to be and both Gareth Shaw and rookie Chris Selfridge will be encouraged by level par 71s.

While Shaw was five under at one stage having playing the back nine in 31, he came home in 40 but insisted it had been some time since he’d hit so many quality shots.

Selfridge made his professional debut in the Czech Republic last week, finishing a fine tied 17th in the D+D REAL Czech Challenge.

He made just one birdie in his 71 but will be pleased with his consistency and his share of 43rd after round one. He's also looking forward to a series of fund-raisers in his club, Moyola Park, where there are still places available in the June 25 corporate event (Phone +442879468468 to book.)

Michael McGeady and Stephen Grant are tied 65th after one over 72s but know they are not far away from the lead at one of the tour’s most scenic venues.


66 J Senior (Eng), G Boyd (Eng), 

67 A Ahokas (Fin), J Doherty (Sco), O Stark (Swe), H Porteous (RSA), J Kunzenbacher (Ger), O Bekker (RSA), S Brown (Eng), 

68 R De Sousa (Sui), B Parker (Eng), N Quintarelli (Ita), D Palm (Swe), R Gouveia (Por), B Hemstock (Eng), 

69 A Kaleka (Fra), J Girrbach (Sui), L Gagli (Ita), V Riu (Fra), S Hodgson (Eng), J Heath (Eng), S Tiley (Eng), M Wiegele (Aut), C Ford (Eng), T Lawrence (RSA), T Gornik (Slo), A Bruschi (Ita), 

70 A Gee (Eng), G Drakeford (Aus), D Foos (Ger), Ruaidhri McGee (Irl), S Manley (Wal), L Claverie (Esp), A Saddier (Fra), R Pugh (Wal), L Goddard (Eng), K Benz (Sui), W Besseling (Ned), B Paolini (USA), R Russell (Sco), J Ballesteros (Esp), F Calmels (Fra), 

71 G Lockerbie (Eng), J Loughrey (Eng), T Tree (Eng), G Murray (Sco), N Geyger (Chi), J Sarasti (Esp), M Delpodio (Ita), J Harrison (Eng), L Corfield (Eng), Gareth Shaw (Nir), R Kellett (Sco), R Enoch (Wal), P Figueiredo (Por), Chris Selfridge (Nir), J McLeary (Sco), D Kemmer (USA), K Subregis (Fra), N Bertasio (Ita), S Arnold (Aus), M Schneider (Ger), C Arendell (USA), M Pospisil (am) (Cze), 

72 T Remkes (Ned), M Dobias (Sui), Stephen Grant (Irl), Michael McGeady (Irl), S Heisele (Ger), T Elissalde (Fra), J Burnier (Sui), C Mivis (Bel), D Coupland (Eng), J Blaauw (RSA), J Hansen (Den), B Hafthorsson (Isl), E Di Nitto (Ita), J Guerrier (Fra), S Garcia Rodriguez (Esp), J Smith (Eng), L Nemecz (Aut), E Cuartero Blanco (Esp), J Maurer (Aut), B Chapellan (Fra), A Gabella (Sui), 

73 D Ulrich (Sui), J Lucquin (Fra), F Praegant (Aut), S Einhaus (Ger), S Reeves (USA), M Orrin (Eng), L Astl (Aut), C Russo (Fra), J Gallegos (Esp), M Trappel (Aut), Z Scotland (Eng), N Woernhard (am) (Sui), 

74 P Relecom (Bel), L Motta (Ita), D Frittelli (RSA), H Satama (Fin), J Clément (Sui), D Vancsik (Arg), J Elson (Eng), J Garcia Del Moral (Esp), A Eckhardt (Fin), H Bacher (Aut), M Cabrera-Bello (Esp), D Huizing (Ned), A Bernadet (Fra), L Weber (Fra), G Baumann (Sui), F Bergamaschi (Ita), P Howard (Eng), J Makitalo (Fin), D Im (USA), 

75 A Gurini (Sui), F Svanberg (Sui), O Henningsson (Swe), P Tarver-Jones (Eng), L Galliano (Sui), L Tintera (Cze), R Davies (Wal), B Rusch (Sui), M Veijalainen (Fin), D Markle (Can), M Rocchi (Fra), N Ravano (Ita), 

76 C Hanson (Eng), D Law (Sco), M Fenasse (Fra), M Kramer (Ger), G Watremez (Bel), T Pfister (Sui), C Brazillier (Fra), R Benatti (Ita), 

77 N Chaudhuri (Eng), A Björk (Swe), C Suk (Cze), 

78 G Pinto (Por), T Nemecz (Aut), D Suchan (Cze), S Matus (Cze), M Southgate (Eng), K Hesbois (Bel), J Freiburghaus (am) (Sui), 

79 W Booth (Sco), T Sinnott (Aus), L Bemberg (am) (Sui), 

80 Z Lombard (RSA), P Whiteford (Sco), N Thommen (Sui), N Meitinger (Ger), 

81 J Legarrea (Esp), A Rota (Ita), H Casey (Eng).