Gareth Shaw has so far failed to deliver on the promise he showed when he took the plunge into the pro ranks and grabbed two top 10s in his first three starts on the Challenge Tour.
But that might be about to change.
Back in August 2008, the Lurgan star followed a 34th place finish in the Swalec Wales Challenge with a share of fourth in the Challenge of Ireland at Glasson and a tie for ninth in the following week’s Lexus Challenge.
His first Challenge Tour campaign did not go as well he might have hoped but he appears to be finding some form judging by the super 67 he carded in the first round of the Karnten Golf Open by Markus Brier Foundation yesterday.
Last week’s 21st place in the Telenet Trophy was Shaw’s best finish on the second tier circuit since that top 10 in Norway in August 2008.
Now he’s made a great start in Austria, where local favourite Martin Wiegele fired a fabulous ten under par 62 - he had five birdies on each nine - to lead by three shots at Klagenfurt-Seltenheim Golf Club.
Swede Anders Sjöstrand and German Bernd Ritthammer were second after fine seven under par 65s and tournament host Markus Brier was two shots further back alongside Shaw, Austrian compatriot Thomas Feyrsinger and Germany’s Nicolas Meitinger.
Shaw said: “When you see someone has shot 62 you know something’s out there. It was a pleasing start. I was disappointed to three-putt two of the last three greens but I had my fair share of luck for the rest of the round.”
Wiegele was understandably delighted with his 62.
“That was probably the best I’ve ever played,” said Wiegele, who also won as an amateur on this course. “I started off really well and I didn’t get into trouble the whole round. I had two good saves on the fifth and sixth but the rest of the time I was always putting from inside four metres. All my birdies were fairly short putts.
“It’s not an easy course and sometimes it’s pretty tight and you have it in your mind not to go in the rough or the water, but all my shots seemed to turn out well.
“Even though I teed off early there were people following me and the support was great. Hopefully tomorrow when I’m teeing off in the afternoon there will be even more people, especially if the weather stays nice.”
Jonathan Caldwell also started well, firing a four under 68 to share eighth place.
62 M Wiegele (Aut),
65 A Sjöstrand (Swe),
67 B Ritthammer (Ger), Gareth Shaw (Nir), N Meitinger (Ger), T Feyrsinger (Aut), M Brier (Aut),
68 J Campillo (Esp), J Sjöholm (Swe), M Mills (Eng), A Johnston (Eng), L Claverie (Esp), F De Vries (Ned), Jonathan Caldwell (Nir),
69 G Davies (Eng), T Remkes (Ned), H Bacher (Aut), A Maestroni (Ita), F Colombo (Ita), M Higley (Eng), F Marty (Fra), L Moolman (RSA), J Zapata (Arg),
70 M Baldwin (Eng), J Arruti (Esp), J Xanthopoulos (Fra), A Bossert (Sui), L Westerberg (Swe), T Whitehouse (Eng), M Zions (Aus), S Jamieson (Sco), J McLean (Aus), A Bruschi (Ita), F Calmels (Fra), V Riu (Fra), M Laskey (Wal), C Macaulay (Sco), C Ford (Eng), D Whitnell (Eng), N Lemke (Swe), L Kennedy (Eng), V Covello (USA), D Vanegas (Col), J Colomo (Esp),
71 A Gee (Eng), W Ormsby (Aus), G Molteni (Ita), M Cobo (Esp), M Quiros (Esp), R Steiner (Aut), W Rieder (Aut), C Brazillier (Fra), R Kind (Ned), P Del Grosso (Arg), E Dubois (Fra), T Olesen (Den), B Lecuona (Fra),
72 S Ottosen (Den), L Dodd (Eng), B Evans (Eng), M Thorp (Nor), T Haylock (Eng), L Astl (Aut), D Brooks (Eng), A Kaleka (Fra), M Moser (Aut), N Sulzer (Sui), B Chapellan (Fra), A Haindl (RSA), M Carlsson (Swe), A Tadini (Ita), S Lewton (Eng), E Canonica (Ita), T Stewart (Aus), S Buhl (Ger), J Maurer (Aut), Z Scotland (Eng), S Piaget (Mon), A Snobeck (Fra), D Nouailhac (Fra),
73 O David (Fra), M Rominger (Sui), L Johansen (Den), I Van Weerelt (Ned), M Eliasson (Swe), J Larsen (Nor), J Axgren (Swe), P Lepitschnik (Aut), R Sjöberg (Swe), L Goddard (Eng), G Woodman (Eng), D Perrier (Fra), M Lowe (Eng), F Praegant (Aut), D Denison (Eng), P Fendt (am) (Aut),
74 L Saltman (Sco), A Högberg (Swe), R Santos (Por), A Zanini (Ita), S Lilly (Eng), J Abbate (Arg), A Perrino (Ita), E Ramsay (Sco), R Thuillier (Fra), C Pfau (Aut), J Ruebotham (Eng), A Blyth (Aus), V Almstrom (Swe), G Watremez (Bel), Å Nilsson (Swe), A Signor (Ita), M Tullo (Chi), C Günther (Ger), J Doherty (Sco), D Moretti (am) (Aut),
75 A Marshall (Eng), K Eriksson (Swe), O Turnill (Eng), P Oriol (Esp), R Gruber (Aut), J Hedin (Swe), L Jensen (Den), P Golding (Eng),
76 J Roos (RSA), D Ulrich (Sui), A Bernadet (Fra), D Wardrop (Eng), F Widmark (Swe), P Scott (Eng), S Reale (Ita), F Ruprecht (Aut), M Mayrhauser (am) (Aut),
77 S Juul (Den), S Garcia (Esp), S Russi (Chi),
78 M Bothma (RSA), B Wiesberger (Aut), U Weinhandl (Aut), G Povey (Eng), F Pogatschnigg (Aut),
79 L Matthews (Wal), I Pyman (Eng), R Harris (Eng), L Nemecz (am) (Aut),
80 J Billot (Fra), S McHenry (Aus), A Mellor (Eng), G Rosier (Fra), M Trappel (am) (Aut),
81 J Estevez (Arg), B Neumayer (am) (Aut),
82 N Bruzelius (Swe),
83 C Bausek (Aut),
84 D Hewan (RSA),
** S Wakefield (Eng),