Graeme McDowell and Paul Dunne kept their hopes of winning a place in The Open alive with sub-par starts in the HNA Open de France.
Two-time French Open winner McDowell shot a two-under 69 early in the day as Dunne posted a one-under 70 in the race for one of three spots at Royal Birkdale on offer to non-exempt players finishing in the top 10 - one of three opportunities they will have over the next three weeks to qualify for the season's third major.
They’ve got work to do to catch Englishman Paul Waring, who opened with a brilliant bogey-free opening round of 64 to lead the Rolex Series event by two shots from Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, Sweden’s Alexander Björk and England’s Nathan Kimsey.
Shane Lowry was cruising at two-under through 12 holes when he spun back into the water and made a double bogey six at the 13th, then frittered away three shots in the next four holes to shoot a three over 74.
It was an even more disappointing day for Darren Clarke, who was nine-over playing the water-strewn 18th and ran up a nine for an 84, equalling his career high score set at the Masters last year.
On the PGA Tour, West Waterford’s Seamus Power is tied 66th after opening with a two-over 72 in the Quicken Loans Invitational at TPC Potomac at Avenal Farms.
The 30-year old is tied for 66th place, seven strokes behind David Lingmerth, whose 65 gave him a one-stroke lead over Troy Merritt, Marc Leishman, Johnson Wagner, Sung Kang, Nick Taylor and Daniel Summerhays.
Power has made 12 of 18 cuts for far in his rookie season, winning $339,156. However, he’s 142nd in the FedEx Cup rankings and needs to move into the top 125 to retain his card
HNA Open de France, Round One Scores (Par 71)
64 P Waring (Eng),
66 N Kimsey (Eng), T Pieters (Bel), A Björk (Swe),
67 T Fleetwood (Eng), P Uihlein (USA), F Fritsch (Ger),
68 A Saddier (Fra), G Coetzee (RSA), K Broberg (Swe), P Larrazábal (Esp), A Sullivan (Eng), R Karlberg (Swe), A Otaegui (Esp),
69 B Dredge (Wal), N Bertasio (Ita), B Stone (RSA), A Levy (Fra), M Kaymer (Ger), C Shinkwin (Eng), D Stewart (Sco), F Zanotti (Par), T Olesen (Den), C Berardo (Fra), Graeme McDowell (Nir), L Yan-Wei (Chn), G Stal (Fra), A Noren (Swe), S Hend (Aus), M Siem (Ger), J Luiten (Ned),
70 N Fasth (Swe), B Wiesberger (Aut), J Rahm (Esp), R Karlsson (Swe), D Drysdale (Sco), D Im (USA), S Dyson (Eng), Paul Dunne (Irl), R Fisher (Eng), N Colsaerts (Bel), J Smith (Eng), B Rumford (Aus), G Bourdy (Fra), J Lagergren (Swe),
71 J Quesne (Fra), J Guerrier (Fra), M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra), G Storm (Eng), T Fisher Jnr (RSA), L Westwood (Eng), J Fahrbring (Swe), L Bjerregaard (Den), F Molinari (Ita), R Rock (Eng), P Khongwatmai (Tha), A Chesters (Eng), M Kieffer (Ger), E Pepperell (Eng), J Walters (RSA), C Sordet (Fra), D Perrier (Fra), L Haotong (Chn), T Linard (Fra), M Armitage (Eng),
72 J Donaldson (Wal), F Aguilar (Chi), A Johnston (Eng), N Elvira (Esp), S Manley (Wal), P Hanson (Swe), C Wood (Eng), V Dubuisson (Fra), P Angles (Esp), T Detry (Bel), S Lee (Kor), S Gallacher (Sco), D Fichardt (RSA), H Porteous (RSA), J Morrison (Eng), J Van Zyl (RSA), M Wallace (Eng), J Kruger (RSA), M Foster (Eng), D Brooks (Eng), H Otto (RSA), D Willett (Eng), E Dubois (Fra), R Knox (Sco), T Jaidee (Tha), A Cañizares (Esp), C Paisley (Eng), I Poulter (Eng), M Korhonen (Fin), C Hanson (Eng),
73 L Jensen (Den), M Fraser (Aus), D Frittelli (RSA), B Ritthammer (Ger), A Dodt (Aus), R Sterne (RSA), O Fisher (Eng), C Shih-Chang (Tpe), J Lima (Por), J Olazábal (Esp), T Bjørn (Den), H Tanihara (Jpn), S Kjeldsen (Den), R Langasque (Fra), G Havret (Fra), S Walker (Eng), T Aiken (RSA), R Fox (Nzl), C Pigem (Esp), J Scrivener (Aus), Z Lombard (RSA), R Gouveia (Por), D Howell (Eng), E Molinari (Ita), S Gros (Fra), M Carlsson (Swe),
74 A Knappe (Ger), S Jamieson (Sco), J Stalter (Fra), R Ramsay (Sco), J Campillo (Esp), R Bland (Eng), J Wang (Kor), M Pavon (Fra), A Quiros (Esp), M Ilonen (Fin), Shane Lowry (Irl), T Hatton (Eng),
75 W Ashun (Chn), T Immelman (RSA), D Burmester (RSA), M Manassero (Ita), R Wattel (Fra), J Carlsson (Swe), R Jacquelin (Fra),
76 M Fitzpatrick (Eng), M Southgate (Eng), S Heisele (Ger), E De La Riva (Esp), D Lipsky (USA),
77 L Slattery (Eng), P Peterson (USA), R Paratore (Ita), M Warren (Sco), A Romero (Arg),
78 K Aphibarnrat (Tha), S Brazel (Aus),
79 B Hebert (Fra),
81 W Ormsby (Aus),
84 Darren Clarke (Nir),
RTD A Wall (Eng),