Selfridge and Dunbar best of the Irish in Scotland
Gary Boyd. Credit: Getty Images

Gary Boyd. Credit: Getty Images

Mistakes proved costly for the six-strong Irish contingent in action in the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge hosted by Macdonald Hotels and Resorts.

Chris Selfridge stormed to five under through 10 holes but bogeyed his 12th and tripled 15th before a closing birdie two gave him a two under 69 at Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Club in Aviemore

But that was still only good enough for a share of 35th alongside Rathmore’s Alan Dunbar, who was left to rue two bogeys in his first four holes.

The leading Irish pair are five shots behind Gary Boyd, who fed off inspirational pep talks from Ryder Cup stars Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson to continue his golfing rehabilitation to charge to the top of the first round leaderboard.

The Englishman carded an excellent seven under par 64 to lead by one from Dutchman Maarten Lafeber, Portugal’s José Felipe Lima and Prom Meesawat of Thailand.
Bradley Neil, meanwhile, made a disappointing start to his professional career with a three over 74, but the year old, who travelled to Aviemore having played in the US Open last week as an amateur, was overwhelmingly positive about his first round in the paid ranks.
“Basically I had two-and-a-half years of playing rubbish after losing my card in 2012 and at the lowest point I was asking myself, ‘what am I going to do now?’” Boyd said. “I never actually reached the stage of considering chucking it. But I was wondering, ‘is this really worth it?’ “I wasn’t enjoying playing golf anymore or practicing.
“There are more lows than highs in this game, but sometimes you have to look back at the good times because you don’t suddenly stop being a good player overnight.
“I got a lot of support from family and friends and Poulter has been good to me, staying in touch and asking what was going on because he had always known me as a good ball striker.
“He told me just to keep working hard and I also got good advice from Graeme McDowell and Henrik Stenson when I spent time with them at Lake Nona in the States. Henrik has experienced a couple of form slumps so it was good to speak to someone who had been there.
“We had a good chat and he said that he had evaluated everything in his game and his life and changed certain things and I’ve tried to do the same, including getting fitter and going to a new coach in January. We have been working on some good things and I am giving myself better chances.”
Mick McGeady was two under with seven to play but shot a 71 to share 78th alongside Ruaidhri McGee, third in the Road to Oman, who three under after five.

Birr’s Stephen Grant also had a tough finish and posted a three over 74 while Richard Kilpatrick had a 76.

Complete Round 1 Scores

64 G Boyd (Eng), 

65 M Lafeber (Ned), J Lima (Por), P Meesawat (Tha), 

66 D Burmester (RSA), J Senior (Eng), E Saltman (Sco), R Coles (Eng), R McGowan (Eng), 

67 E Bertheussen (Nor), H Porteous (RSA), J Stalter (Fra), 

68 M Orrin (Eng), R Fox (Nzl), R Kellett (Sco), N Quintarelli (Ita), J Doherty (Sco), J Hansen (Den), N Henderson (Sco), T Pilkadaris (Aus), N Lemke (Swe), P Widegren (Swe), J McLeary (Sco), R Davies (Wal), A Snobeck (Fra), R Evans (Eng), M Röhrig (Ger), D Dixon (Eng), J Fahrbring (Swe), J Heath (Eng), C Gane (Eng), S Heisele (Ger), W Harrold (Eng), S Jeppesen (Swe), 

69 D Law (Sco), P Whiteford (Sco), A Marshall (Eng), B Etchart (Esp), N Geyger (Chi), J Makitalo (Fin), A Knappe (Ger), C Shinkwin (Eng), Alan Dunbar (Nir), E Dubois (Fra), B Åkesson (Swe), Chris Selfridge (Nir), G Murray (Sco), C Gloet (Den), P Dwyer (Eng), T Remkes (Ned), D Huizing (Ned), 

70 C Kelly (Sco), K Hesbois (Bel), C Arendell (USA), T Linard (Fra), C Ford (Eng), O Bekker (RSA), D Palm (Swe), N Kimsey (Eng), F Andersson Hed (Swe), R Russell (Sco), J Robinson (Eng), J Dantorp (Swe), J Byrne (Sco), R Gouveia (Por), S Manley (Wal), C Berardo (Fra), S Arnold (Aus), A McArthur (Sco), B Hemstock (Eng), J Guerrier (Fra), J Gonnet (Fra), C Farrelly (Eng), A Bernadet (Fra), J McColl (Sco), J McDonald (am) (Sco), C Ross (am) (Sco), 

71 T Elissalde (Fra), A Saddier (Fra), J Sjöholm (Swe), N Elvira (Esp), T Sluiter (Ned), J Ross (Sco), Michael McGeady (Irl), N Ravano (Ita), M Delpodio (Ita), D Im (USA), S Tiley (Eng), S Hodgson (Eng), D Stewart (Sco), P Relecom (Bel), J Billing (Swe), J Sarasti (Esp), S Gros (Fra), A Belt (Eng), R McGee (Irl), B Stone (RSA), S Walker (Eng), J Huldahl (Den), S Borrowman (Sco), 

72 D Coupland (Eng), K Ferrie (Eng), B Barham (Eng), F Bergamaschi (Ita), C Aguilar (Esp), C Hanson (Eng), P Archer (Eng), S Kim (USA), P McKechnie (Sco), F Calmels (Fra), G Woolgar (Eng), S Griffiths (Eng), G Lockerbie (Eng), J Watts (Eng), M Søgaard (Den), 

73 C Suk (Cze), Z Lombard (RSA), S Garcia Rodriguez (Esp), J Glennemo (Swe), S Piaget (Mon), E Goya (Arg), S Soderberg (Swe), C Evans (Eng), S Einhaus (Ger), N Bertasio (Ita), L Gagli (Ita), J Savage (am) (Sco), G Forrest (am) (Sco), 

74 J Timmis (Eng), C Currie (Sco), P Gal (Cze), Stephen Grant (Irl), B Neil (Sco), H Joannes (Bel), S Brown (Eng), G Hay (Sco), D Kay (Sco), F McKenna (Sco), A Forsyth (Sco), 

75 P Doherty (Sco), S Fallon (Eng), A Ahokas (Fin), G Porteous (Eng), H Satama (Fin), W Booth (Sco), D Young (am) (Sco), 

76 A Bruschi (Ita), A Gee (Eng), E Cuartero Blanco (Esp), Richard Kilpatrick (Nir), 

77 A Hartø (Den), 

78 P Tarver-Jones (Eng), 

80 J Gallegos (Esp), J Shim (am) (Tur), 

82 J Rask (Swe), M Guner (am) (Tur)