Rookie Brendan McGovern and amateur qualifier Jim Carvill flew the flag for Ireland in the Senior Open Championship at Carnoustie.
American Woody Austin fired four birdies in the last eight holes for a 68 and a one-shot lead over Mark O’Meara (USA), Scott McCarron (USA), Joe Durant (USA), Esteban Toledo (Mex), Tom Byrum (USA), Carlos Franco (Par) and Peter Fowler (Aus).
But Headfort pro McGovern, who has made a strong start to his Senior Tour career after coming through Q-School last year, ended day one tied 19th on one under after a four birdie 71.
Former professional Carvill also had a great day, carding a level par 72 as Ronan Rafferty (74), Eamonn Darcy (74), Mark McNulty (75), Philip Walton (76), Peter O’Hagan (77) and Des Smyth (80) completed the scoring for the Irish.
Scores after round one:
68 W Austin (USA); 69 M O’Meara (USA), S McCarron (USA), J Durant (USA), E Toledo (Mex), T Byrum (USA), C Franco (Par), P Fowler (Aus); 70 B Conser (USA), M Atlevi (Swe), W Short Jr (USA), K Idoki (Jpn), J Parnevik (Swe), M Jiménez (Esp), G Marks (Eng), B Faxon (USA), S Dodd (Wal), T Pernice Jnr (USA); 71 B Langer (Ger), J Carter (USA), B Andrade (USA), D Frost (RSA), Brendan McGovern (Irl); 72 M Dawson (USA), A Oldcorn (Sco), R Cochran (USA), K Sutherland (USA), J Daley (USA), O Browne (USA), D Gilford (Eng), S Ames (Can), R Chapman (Eng), P O’Malley (Aus), R Arnott (Sco), J Daly (USA), M Goodes (USA), M Brooks (USA), M Harwood (Aus), Jim Carvill (am) (Nir); 73 M Springer (USA), J Sluman (USA), M Allen (USA), S Brown (Eng), P Goydos (USA), S Savage (Sco), J Edwards (USA), I Woosnam (Wal), P Wesselingh (Eng), T Lehman (USA), B Friend (USA), B Jobe (USA); 74 Ronan Rafferty (Nir), Eamonn Darcy (Irl); 75 M McNulty (Irl); 76 T Watson (USA), P Walton (Irl); 77 P O’Hagan (Irl); 80 Des Smyth (Irl).
PGA Tour - Graeme McDowell struggled to a three over 75 in the first round of the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.
The Ulster star made two early birdies at the second and third but turned in two over as he bogeyed the fourth, sixth and eighth and double bogeyed the seventh while picking up just one more stroke at the fifth.
He came home on one one over and ended the day nine strokes behind Dustin Johnson and Luke List. Scores
Web.com Tour — Rio bound Seamus Power opened with a level par 71 to share 78th place after the first round of the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank.
The West Waterford player is eight strokes behind Peter Tomasulo and Brian Richey at the golf Club at Thanksgiving Point. Scores