Neil O'Briain leads PGA Southern Championship
 Neil O'Briain. Picture:Getty Images

Neil O'Briain. Picture:Getty Images

Neil O'Briain has a one-shot lead after the opening round of the PGA Southern Championship at Powerscourt Golf Club.

The Old Conna man carded a four under par round of 68 over the East Course to lead Waterville veteran David Higgins, Banbridge's Richard Kilpatrick and former European Tour winner Damien McGrane by a shot.

Out in one over 37, O'Briain clicked into top gear after the turn, carding four birdies, an eagle and one bogey to come home in five under 31.

Of the leading contenders, McGrane was the only player to finish the day without a blemish on his card.

The in-form Kells man — he's won or shared first place in six of his last nine starts — recorded three birdies on his opening nine holes but the putter went cold over the back nine and he rattled off nine consecutive pars.

The cut fell at six over par 78 with 53 players securing a place in Tuesday's final round.

Drive Golf Performance's Padraig Dooley, who won the pre-event pro-am with a 65, was amongst those to safely make it through for today's shotgun start.

Play is scheduled to get underway at 9am.

PGA Southern Championship, Powerscourt GC (East Course – Par 72)

Detailed scores

68 N O’Briain (Old Conna GC)

69 D Higgins (Waterville Golf Links), R Kilpatrick (Banbridge Golf Club), D McGrane

70 M McGeady, T Rice (Limerick GC)

71 B McElhinney (North West GC), D Gleeson (Old Conna GC), M McDermott (Pure Golf Leopardstown).