Peter O’Keeffe had a frustrating eagle-bogey finish on his 2013 Challenge Tour debut in the weather-affected Telenet Trophy in Belgium.
The 31-year old Corkman was one of just 78 players in the 156-strong field that managed to get finished at Royal Waterloo, where heavy rain delayed the start by three and a half hours and caused another two hour suspension in the afternoon.
A one under 70 left O’Keeffee tied for 28th, six shots behind Englishman Luke Goddard, who described hs eight under 64 as the best round of his European Challenge Tour career.
Birr’s Stephen Grant picked up two birdies in three holes to move into the top 10 on two under before play was suspended.
Alan Dunbar shot a one over 72 that will leave him with work to do to make the cut. However, he was three over with five to play before birdies at the 14th and 18th cheered up a long, damp day.
Gareth Shaw was one over through three holes while Simon Thornton was two over after six as Goddard basked in the glory of his nine-birdie round
“I started really well with a birdie on ten,” said the former Walker Cup player, who had six threes and three twos on his card as well as two bogeys. “Then I had a bogey at the 11th but I played really solid after that, made plenty of birdies and even missed a couple of good chances.
“I’m really pleased with the way I played. At the (par five) fifth I was tempted to go for the green in two but I laid up and it was a good decision because I made birdie, then I chipped in at six with a nice shot up a tier.
“I holed a 15-foot putt at the seventh and hit a good approach into the eight to about 10 foot so it was a nice finish. I didn’t force it today and was nice and relaxed.
“It was the best round I’ve had on the Challenge Tour. It’s a really nice feeling, especially after a poor start to the season. It’s good to get off and running.”
Goddard was one shot clear of Finland’s Roope Kakko, whose six under par opening round of 65 was enough to move him into outright second place and he was happy to maintain his momentum after an impressive final round 68 at last week’s Madeira Islands Open – Portugal - BPI, where he finished tied fifth.
“In the final round last week I just found something and I was striking the ball really well and that same feeling is still going,” said the 31 year old. “It’s funny, it seems the guys who play well on Sunday play well the following week so I just tried to do the same things.”
Martin Sell of England was a shot further back in third place, after a five under par 66, while American Dodge Kemmer, Adrian Otaegui of Spain and another Englishman James Ruth were tied forth on four under.
On the Alps Tour, poor weather delayed the start of the Umbria Open at Golf Club Perugia in Italy by six and a half hours. Brendan McCarroll and Richard Kilpatrick didn’t get to start. Scores