Nine months after taking time out from the game, Glasson’s Colm Moriarty is in track for a dream appearance in The Open at Muirfield after he opened with a five under par 65 to lead the 36-hole race for three place from Local Final Qualifying at Dunbar.
The 34-year old Athlone player, who returned to action on the Challenge Tour in Scotland last month after a long sabbatical, had an eagle, four birdies and just one bogey to lead by a stroke from Oliver Farr and Ryan Boyns as 288 players battle for just 12 place in The Open at four LFQ venues in Scotland.
Alps Tour regular, Ballyliffin’s Brendan McCarroll is also well-placed at Dunbar in joint fourth after a three under 67 with amateur Kevin Phelan and Old Conna’s Neil O Briain also in with a shout after 69s.
While Moriarty played in the 2010 Open at St Andrews, finishing 37th, a major championship appearance would be a first for Derry’s Michael McGeady, whose four under 67 left him tied for second at North Berwick, one shot behind James McLeary with Waterville’s David Higgins three shots outside the qualifying place after a 70.
The rest of the Irish have work to do to make it but Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie is still in with a shout at Gullane No 1, where a two under 69 was good enough for a five-way share of third at halfway, one stroke behind leaders Klas Eriksson and amateur Fraser Moore.
1st Colm Moriarty, Glasson 65 (-5)
T4 Brendan McCarroll, Team Ireland 67 (-3)
T11 Kevin Phelan (A), Waterford Castle 69 (-1)
T11 Neil O Briain, Old Conna 69 (-1)
GULLANE NO 1
T12 David Jones, Bushfoot 72 (+1)
T32 Daniel Sugrue, Killarney 75 (+4)
T37 Shane Franklin, Unattached76 (+5)
T2 Michael McGeady, Unattached 67 (-4)
T12 David Higgins, Waterville 70 (-1)
T16 David Rawluk, The Island 71 (E)
T16 Gavin Moynihan (A), The Island 71 (E)
T12 Aaron Kearney (A), Castlerock 70 (-1)
T74 Richard Kilpatrick, Banbridge 76 (+5)