Round up: GMac's struggles; Hoey's ace; Irish challengers; Grant's hernia; Langer's class

A resigned Graeme McDowell at the RBC Canadian Open.

PGA Tour — He looked to be turning the corner at The Open but Graeme McDowell stumbled a little in his return to form with a three over 75 in the opening round of the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.

The Portrush man, down from 15th to 58th in the world since December 31 last, had to dig desperately deep to come back from five over after 11 holes of the opening round.

Forced to scramble early, he bogeyed the eighth and then took four to get down after overshooting the ninth, running up a double bogey six to turn in three over. 

Another six at the 11th, where he hit his approach into a hazard, left him on the ropes. But he fought back well with birdies from 18 feet at the 14th and 11 feet at the 15th only to make six at the par-five 17th by again taking four to get down from rough near the green.

A two-putt birdie four at the 18th gave him a 75 but he's tied for 138th, four shots outside the cut line and 11 behind the consistent Argentinian Emiliano Grillo, who shot an eight under 64 to lead by one from Vaughn Taylor and Brian Harman.

European Tour — Michael Hoey won an insurance policy with Vaudoise worth 30,000 Swiss Francs (€28,000) when he aced the 177-yard third with an eight-iron to lead the Irish challenge after the first round of the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Crans Montana.
The Belfast native added five birdies in a five under par 65 to share third place behind Grégory Havret, who also had a hole in one at the 13th en route to a 63 and a one shot lead over Lasse Jensen of Denmark.
The aces brought this season's tally to 39, equalling the record of 2006. But apart from Hoey's brilliance, Irish eyes were smiling for Peter Lawrie, who was tied for 20th with the likes of Patrick Reed after opening with a three under 67 in his bid to win back his tour card.
Headfort's Damien McGrane, who is struggling to keep his card at 168th in the Race to Dubai, is well down the field on three over after a 73.
Havret, a three-time winner on The European Tour, also eagled the driveable seventh at Crans-sur-Sierre, with four birdies and a single bogey giving him a seven under par 63 and one shot lead over Denmark’s Lasse Jensen.
For much of the afternoon it had looked like England’s Tyrrell Hatton would lead as he made his way to eight under, but finding water twice on the 18th led to a triple bogey seven and left him in a large group of players tied for third on five under, which includes his compatriot Danny Willett.
World Number Ten Sergio Garcia opened with a one under par round of 69, whilst his Ryder Cup team-mate went one better with a 68.
American Patrick Reed, playing for the first time in Continental Europe, notched six birdies in a round of 67, whilst his compatriot David Lipsky, the defending champion, carded a 66.

 Ryan Fox. Picture: Getty Images

Challenge Tour — Niall Kearney and Chris Selfridge fired four under 67s to share seventh spot after the first round of Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.

New Zealander Fox finished with four birdies and an eagle in his final six holes to smash the course record with a nine under par round of 62 to lead by one shot from Robert Coles.

Selfridge making an eagle and four birdies and Kearney five birdies and a bogey but it was also a good day for Simon Thornton who shot 68 and Chris Selfridge, who posted a two under 69.

62 R Fox (Nzl); 63 R Coles (Eng); 65 C Arendell (USA); 66 A Hartø (Den), D Bobrowski (Fra) , A Bernadet  (Fra); 67 A Pavan (Ita), H Joannes (Bel), T Linard (Fra), N Bertasio (Ita). Niall Kearney (Irl), C Gloet  (Den), Ruaidhri McGee (Irl), J McLeary  (Sco) , R Evans  (Eng)  E Saltman  (Sco) , A Knappe (Ger), J Fahrbring (Swe),; 68 Simon Thornton (Irl); 69 Chris Selfridge (Nir).

Stephen Grant has been in the wars with a hernia.

Europro Tour — Nobody likes to be injured by Stephen Grant was almost relieved to hear from doctors earlier this week that his recent poor golf hasn't been his fault.
"Got to the bottom of my constant pain  and nausea," the popular Birr man said in a message. "I have a hernia. Bot ideal but new meds for 6 months and hopefully back golfing next week. As the doctors said, the golf won't make it worse."

Grant confessed: "Mentally a massive weight has been lifted as I thought it was something sinister and was afraid to address it. It's been niggling for a year but before I stopped playing it became agony and I struggled to keep food down so had to be addressed.

"I'm a happy man now."

"Golf next week" is possibly the ex-footballer's magic sponge talking but, no doubt, the Irish golfing world wants to see the former professional footballer back on the fairways soon.
As a result of his scan, Grant missed this week's event on the EuroPro Tour, the Wealth Design Invitational at Hawkstone Park Golf Club where Alan Dunbar is tied for fifth, four shots behind leader Daniel Gavins entering today's final round with Headfort's Brian Casey tied 30th on three under. Leaderboard
T5 Alan Dunbar  Team Ireland 11:21 AM  -8 69 65 134    
T30 Brian Casey Headfort Golf Club 8:38 AM  -3  72 67 139    
MC Tim Rice  Limerick Golf Club  +2 74 70 144    
MC Richard Weldon  Killeen Castle Golf Club +3 72 73 145    
MC Simon Ward  Unattached +6 74 74 148 

Germany's Bernhard Langer shakes hands with Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez at Sunningdale. Picture: Getty Images

The Senior Open — Bernhard Langer is in a record eight-way share for the lead after the opening round of his defence of the  The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Sunningdale Golf Club.

Langer ripped up the record books on his own 12 months ago as he raced to an unprecedented 13-stroke victory at Royal Porthcawl. But he had to share another piece of history on this occasion following a five under par opening round of 65.

That total was matched by the American quintet of Michael Allen, Bart Bryant, Marco Dawson, Lee Janzen and Jeff Sluman, Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez and Lianwei Zhang, who also created history by becoming the first Chinese player to compete in The Senior Open. The previous record for the most players tied for first round lead in the Senior Open was four players, which happened in both 2004 and 2007.

Welshman Mark Mouland, American Brian Henninger and Argentine Cesar Monasterio are one shot behind the leaders on four under par, while Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie and American Tom Watson are among eight players tied a further shot back on three under par.

Des Smyth birdied two of his first three but shot a one over 71 that was matches by Philip Walton, who had two birdies, a bogey and a double bogey six at the fifth. Ronan Rafferty didm't make a birdie in his 76

Complete round one scores (par 70)

65 M Allen (USA), J Sluman (USA), L Janzen (USA), B Langer (Ger), M Jiménez (Esp)  M Dawson (USA), L Zhang (Chn), B Bryant (USA)

66 B Henninger (USA), C Monasterio (Arg), M Mouland (Wal)

67 C Montgomerie (Sco), T Watson (USA), B Andrade (USA), P Goydos (USA), B Cameron (Eng), M Calcavecchia (USA), W Short Jr (USA), J Hart (USA)

68  Mark McNulty (Irl); 71 Philip Walton (Irl), Des Smyth (Irl); 76  Ronan Rafferty (Nir).