Alps Tour — Teenager David Carey added a six birdie 66 to his opening 69 to lie just a shot off the lead in the Servizitalia Open.
The former Boys international from Carton House is tied for second with Matt Wallace on nine under par at Golf Club Lignano, an hour from Venice.
Matthieu Pavon of France leads on 10 under after rounds of 66 and 68 but Derry's Brendan McCarroll missed the cut by 16 shots after rounds of 74 and 84.
Challenge Tour — Former European Tour winner Rhys Davies came within a whisker of an historic 59 at the Fred Olsen Challenge de España as an 11 under par 60 moved the Welshman into a four-shot first round lead at Tecina Golf on the Canary Island of La Gomera.
After an eagle two at the first hole, where he holed out with a four iron, and nine further birdies in his opening 16 holes, the 30 year old stepped onto the tee at the par five 17thneeding to gain just one more shot in the final two holes to become the second European Challenge Tour player in history to card a 59 – after Frenchman Adrien Mörk.
The Bridgend player came within millimetres of birdies at both of the final two holes and was left with mixed emotions as he reflected on a career-best score while also ruing missing the opportunity of carding the magic number.
“It has to be the best round of my career,” said Davies. “In the strangest way, I’m really disappointed because it was such a big chance to shoot the magic number and I didn’t succeed in that, but at the same time you should never be unhappy with 60.
“The 17th was a reachable par five but I drove it into the rough and didn’t have good lie so I couldn’t get close in three, but I still just missed the birdie putt fractionally. It was at the last where I had the real chance - I wedged it to four or five feet and I didn’t hit a bad putt but it was late in the day and the greens were quite grainy, so the ball jumped off the putter face.
“I had nerves all the way round because after the first I knew I could do something special today. I started freakishly well so it was very unusual in that I knew something big could happen and you just don’t think that normally.
“I holed a four iron at the first. It was straight into the wind, really long, and I didn’t even see it go in because the sun was in our faces. I knew it was good but didn’t know where it finished.
“I was just really into it all the way around, once I birdied six I thought the 59 was possible. I knew there were chances, and thought if I could pinch one or two other birdies I could do it but you have to laugh about it afterwards.
“I’d like to think I will have that chance again. I flirted with it before at Wales Open in 2010 when I shot a 62 with a bogey on the last hole – but that one was less likely. I feel like I’m capable of shooting a really low score and hopefully I can do it one day.”
Muskerry's Niall Turner is well placed after a 67 with Mick McGeady on 68, Gareth Shaw 69 and Chris Selfridge 72.
60 R Davies (Wal); 64 A Hortal (Esp); 65 B Paolini (USA), C Hanson (Eng); 66 R McGowan (Eng), B Hemstock (Eng), A Garcia-Heredia (Esp), B Neil (Sco), J Senior (Eng), S Henry (Sco), A Velasco (Esp); 67 J Hansen (Den), C Brazillier (Fra), D Coupland (Eng), R Evans (Eng), L Claverie (Esp), T Gornik (Slo), T Tree (Eng), Niall Turner (Irl), G Drakeford (Aus); 68 Michael McGeady (Irl); 69 Gareth Shaw (Nir); 72 Chris Selfridge (Nir).