In-form Pat Murray fired a three under par 69 to share the first round lead in the East of Ireland Amateur Championship at Baltray.
Fresh from making the cut in the Irish Open at Adare Manor two weeks ago, the Tipperary-born general manager at Limerick Golf Club finished the day tied at the top with Mallow jeweller David Finn, a former West of Ireland finalist.
While Scrabo’s Andrew McCormick had two eagles in a fine 71 to grab the early lead , he was matched by Galway’s Eddie McCormack, Offaly youngster Shane Lowry and Ulsterman Nicky Grant before being overhauled by some of the championship favourites late in the day.
Irish Amateur Open runner-up Richard Kilpatrick of Banbridge maintained his streak of good form with a two under par 70 and was joined on that mark by Walker Cup panellist and reigning ‘South’ champion Simon Ward, who is bidding to become the first Baltray member to win the title for 22 years.
Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell, the other Walker Cup hopeful in action, had to settle for a one over par 73 on a day when only eight players in the 156-strong field broke par.
Val Smyth, brother of Champions Tour player Des, crashed to an 82 just 24 hours after his Irish Seniors Championship victory at the Hermitage.
Instead, Des’s son Shane finished up with the bragging rights in a family affair as he opened with a modest 79.
East of Ireland Amateur c’ship, Co Louth (par 72, CSS 75, SSS 74)
69 P Murray (Limerick), D Finn (Mallow)
70 R Kilpatrick (Banbridge), S Ward (Co Louth)
71 A McCormick (Scrabo), S Lowry (Esker Hills), E McCormack (Galway), N Grant (Knock)
72 N O’Connor (Elm Park), S Crowe (Dunmurry)
73 D Lernihan (Castle), G Carew (Edenderry), A Glynn (Porters Park), J Caldwell (Clandeboye), C Martin (Kilkenny)
74 N Kearney (Royal Dublin), D O’Donovan (Muskerry), G Lawlor (Citywest), G Hamill (Ardglass), D Sutton (Lockerbie),
A Pitcher (The Island)
75 P McGrath (Dromoland), B Walton (Island/UCD), D Rawluk (The Island), M Brett (Portmarnock), R Branigan (Co Louth), D McInerney (Lahinch), J Toner (Woodbrook), E O’Sullivan (The Island), C Curley (Newlands), A McCloy (Ballymena), J McGinn (L & B), J Waldron (Muskerry), G Reid (Spa), D Coyne (Tuam)
76 G Bohill (Co Louth), N Gorey (Lee Valley), J Lyons (Galway), R Boal (Scrabo), C Doran (Banbridge), A Dunbar (Rathmore), S Grant (Birr), R Cannon (Laytown & Battystown), A O’Callaghan (Douglas), D Beattie (Whitehead), R Forsythe (Ballyclare), R McCarthy (The Island), G Nugent (Kilkenny), N O’Briain (Royal Dublin), C Drumm (Rosslare), M Sinclair (The Knock), M Shanahan (West Waterford)
77 G O’Flaherty (Cork), N Goulding (Portmarnock), G Dunne (Seapoint), D Joyce (Curragh), S Shaw (Lisburn), M McGinley (Grange), B Hobson (Shandon Park), R McNamara (Headfort), T O’Mahony (Mallow), R Leonard (Banbridge), G McGrane (Royal Dublin), K Bornemann (Douglas), T Cleary (Cork), C O’Malley (Westport), P O’Hanlon (Curragh), T Kelly (Balcarrick), G McDermott (Co. Sligo), C McLaughlin (Royal Jersey), M Lavelle (K Club), J Carvill (Warrenpoint), T O’Neill (Rathsallagh)
78 C Hughes (Royal Portrush), M O’Rourke (Royal Tara), M Windebank (Royal Portrush), D McNamara (Connemara), S O’Flaherty (Hermitage), D McNeill (Ballybofey), D Vaughan (Ardglass), D Downie (Sutton), D Morgan (Mullingar), G Kelly (Co Louth), J Mulready (Castle), E Kennedy (Strabane), D O’Brien (L & B), M Rowe (Glasson), E Arthurs (Forrest Little)
79 A Hogan (Newlands/UCD), S Smyth (County Louth), H Diamond (Holywood), P Connolly (Clontarf), D Lewis (Woodbrook), G O’Connor (Malahide), D Leathem (Lisburn), R Dunne (Charlesland/UCD), A McKinley (Shandon Park), E McAnoy (Knock), D Kelleher (Portmarnock), H MacKeown (Portmarnock), P O’Kane (Moyola Park), D Crowe (Dunmurry), D Lally (Tuam)
80 J Gannon (Seapoint), D Ruddy (Thurles), G Mallon (North-West), K Metcalfe (Mullingar), P O’Keeffe (Douglas), K McCarthy (Kinsale), D Coyle (Co Louth), A Dooley (NUIG/Glasson), S Loftus (Ennis), F Rafferty (Dungannon), J Moore (Laytown & Bettystown), S Dwyer (Newlands), B O’Connor (Hermitage), N Boyd (Donaghadee)
81 C Finn (Douglas), K Stack (Dungarvan/UCC), J Somers (Laytown & Bettystown), J Monaghan (The Island), W McCully (Donaghadee), J Fox (Portmarnock), M Buggy (Castlecomer), R Behan (St Anne’s)
82 A McAuley (Ardee), M Poucher (Limerick), J Foran (Thurles), R Durnin (Laytown & Bettystown), V Smyth (Co Louth), A Dowling (Hermitage), A Daly (Delgany), T Conran (Portadown), K Canty (Douglas), K Crowley (Lee Valley), T O’Flynn (Fota Island), R Weldon (Luttrellstown), J Hughes (Douglas)
83 G McAuley (Dunmurry), D Cantrell (Woodbrook), M Hammond (Moyola Park), R O’Connor (The Island)
84 B Campbell (Malone), B Ronan (Co Louth)
85 N Beirth (Co Louth), G Dillon (Heath), G Donaghy (Island Country Club, Fla.)
86 M Reck (Lucan), A Boyle (Hollystown), R Branigan (Royal Tara), S Bell (Denver Country Club)
87 L Butler (West Waterford)
88 C Barron (Rosslare)
89 R Symington (Lisburn)
91 J Campbell (County Louth)
NR D Callaghan (Balbriggan)