South Africans sizzle in Baltray birdie blitz
Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) shares the lead at Baltray. Picture:  Pat Cashman

Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene) shares the lead at Baltray. Picture: Pat Cashman

South African raiders Therion Nel and Christo Lamprecht put down a marker when they fired six-under-par 66s to finish in a seven-way tie for the first round lead in the East of Ireland Amateur Open at a balmy Baltray.

Nel finished 13th and Lamprecht 54th in the recent Flogas Irish Amateur Open at Royal County Down and after their baptism of fire there, they played at The European Club to get ready for County Louth, and it appears to have paid off.

Nel made six birdies in an immaculate round played in a light southerly breeze as Lamprecht, who won last year's South African Amateur Championship, made nine birdies in his 66.

They share top spot with former Irish Close champion Tiarnan McLarnon from Massereene, Oughterard's Devin Morely, Malone's Matthew McClean, Black Bush's Sean Doyle and Cork's John Hickey, one clear of  Galway's Ronan Mullarney, Waterford's Eanna Griffin, Cork's Gary O'Flaherty and Cairndhu's Marc McKinstry.

Eleven members of the Irish senior panel are in action with Kinsale's John Murphy and Hermitage's Rowan Lester posting four-under 68s for a share of 12th on a day when 46 players broke par.

Portmarnock's Conor Purcell and Dundalk's Maynooth University star Caolan Rafferty are also well in touch after three-under 69s with South of Ireland champion James Sugrue from Mallow, Naas' West of Ireland winner Robert Brazill, Kilkenny's Mark Power and Douglas' Peter O'Keeffe tied for 30th after 71s.

Defending champion Reece Black (18) from Hilton Templepatrick has work to do to make the top 42 and ties who qualify for Monday's final two rounds after he carded a three-over 75.

East of Ireland 2018

June 2-4, County Louth Golf Club (Par 72) 

Sponsored by The D Hotel, Drogheda

Detailed scores

First round

66 T McLarnon (Massereene), D Morley (Oughterard), M McClean (Malone), T Nel (RSA), S Doyle (Black Bush), J Hickey (Cork), C Lamprecht (RSA); 

67 R Mullarney (Galway), E Griffin (Waterford), G O’Flaherty (Cork), M McKinstry (Cairndhu); 

68 J Murphy (Kinsale), M Montenegro (Arg), R Lester (Hermitage), E Smith (Laytown & Bettystown); 

69 F Carr (Kirkistown Castle), C Purcell (Portmarnock), P O’Brien (Co. Louth), G Cullen (Beaverstown), C Rafferty (Dundalk), T Ford (Co. Sligo), C Mansfield (RSA); 

70 J Schaper (RSA), R Dutton (Tandragee), A Lowry (Esker Hills), D Brophy (Castleknock), G Dunne (Co. Louth), R Arnorsson (Ice), D Foy (Laytown & Bettystown); 

71 M Ryan (New Ross), C Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire), M Power (Kilkenny), J McDonnell (Forrest Little), G Lenehan (Portmarnock), J Sugrue (Mallow), P Coughlan (Castleknock), W Russell (Clandeboye), E McCormack (Galway Bay), A Ryan (Thurles), M Collins (Killeen Castle), P O’Hanlon (Carton House), K Egan (Carton House), P O'Keeffe (Douglas), J Madden (Royal Portrush), J Fox (Portmarnock), R Brazill (Naas); 

72 C Butler (Kinsale), A Grant (Dundalk), R Pierse (Grange), P McKeever (Castle), P Murray (Clontarf), S McDermott (Co. Cavan), D Reddan Jnr (Nenagh), A Dowling (Hermitage), M Nolan (Dun Laoghaire), R Williamson (Holywood), S Watts (Cairndhu);

73 A Fahy (Dun Laoghaire), I O'Rourke (The Royal Dublin), A Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown), A Wilson (Portmarnock), J Whelan (Newlands), G Ward (Kinsale), S Flanagan (Co. Sligo), J Greene (Portmarnock), S Sweeney (Vista Valencia), T O’Connor (Athlone), N Hearns (Mountrath), A Kearney (Castlerock), P Murphy (Rosslare);

74 E Leonard (Killiney/Wentworth), M Reid (Galgorm Castle), D McAleenon (Edenmore), M Norton (Belvoir Park), W Small (Tandragee), J Blake (The Island), R Knightly (The Royal Dublin), S Greenberg (Tandragee), J Fletcher (Warrenpoint), J Carvill (Banbridge), S Healy (The Royal Dublin), M O’Rourke (Royal Tara), A McCormack (Castletroy), J Lyons (Galway);

75 G Smyth (Clonmel), M Lezcano (Arg), T Clarke (Royal Portrush), H Foley (The Royal Dublin), J Byrne (Baltinglass), K Bornemann (Douglas), C Moulds (Lisburn), D Holland (Castle), G Bohill (Co Louth), A Marshall (Lisburn), D Kitt (Athenry), D Coghlan (Portmarnock), G Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick), R Black (Hilton Templepatrick), H Thordarson (Ice), B Anderson (The Royal Dublin);

76 H O’Hare (Fortwilliam), L Armour (Australia), G Collins (Rosslare), J Walsh (Castle), G Copeland (Ardglass); 

77 A Hill (Athenry), R Moran (Castle), J Hearn (Tramore), L Mills (Australia), V Jonasson (Ice), R Cannon (Balbriggan), J Doherty (Carton House), R McKinstry (Cairndhu); 

78 S Cullen (Slieve Russell), C Feeney (Co. Sligo), C Denvir (Elm Park), M Kennedy (The Royal Dublin), P Brennan (Belvoir Park), S Ryan (The Royal Dublin); 

79 D Brady (Co. Sligo), E Farrell (Ardee), M Kane (Larne), P Kirby (Dun Laoghaire), P Connolly (Killeen Castle), T Collins (Dun Laoghaire), C Dullaghan (Greenore);

80 C Ryan (Dun Laoghaire), J Sutherland (Galgorm Castle); 

81 S Carter (The Royal Dublin), A McDaid (Palmerstown Stud);

83 B Murray (Waterford Castle);

92 L Power (Galway).

Sunday's tee-times

  • 07:30 (1) Patrick Brennan (Belvoir Park); Liam Power (Galway); Cian Feeney (Co. Sligo)
  • 07:41 (1) David Kitt (Athenry); Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint); Max Kennedy (Royal Dublin)
  • 07:52 (1) Gareth Bohill (Co. Louth); Luke Mills (Australia); Alex Maguire (Laytown & Bettystown)
  • 08:03 (1) Padraic O'Brien (Co. Louth); Barry Anderson (Royal Dublin); Mark O'Rourke (Royal Tara)
  • 08:14 (1) David McAleenon (Edenmore); Karl Bornemann (Douglas); Seamus Cullen (Slieve Russell)
  • 08:25 (1) Marc McKinstry (Cairndhu); Ted Collins (Dun Laoghaire); Gerard Copeland (Ardglass)
  • 08:36 (1) Cian Dullaghan (Greenore); Evan Farrell (Ardee); Jack Hearn (Tramore)
  • 08:47 (1) Alan Lowry (Esker Hills); Aaron Marshall (Lisburn); Matthew McClean (Malone)
  • 08:58 (1) Ryan McKinstry (Cairndhu); Jamie Sutherland (Galgorm Castle); Tyrone Clarke (Royal Portrush)
  • 09:09 (1) Jack Walsh (Castle); Paraic Connolly (Killeen Castle); Ben Murray (Waterford Castle)
  • 09:20 (1) Aaron Kearney (Castlerock); James Sugrue (Mallow); Michael Reid (Galgorm Castle)
  • 07:30 (10) Richard Knightly (Royal Dublin); David Brady (Co. Sligo); Sean Doyle (Black Bush)
  • 07:41 (10) Aaron Ryan (Thurles); William Small (Tandragee); Henning Thordarson (Iceland)
  • 07:52 (10) Niall Hearns (Mountrath); James Fox (Portmarnock); Shane Mc Dermott (Co. Cavan)
  • 08:03 (10) Jack Doherty (Carton House); Robert Moran (Castle); Christopher Moulds (Lisburn)
  • 08:14 (10) Conor Ryan (Dun Laoghaire); Lachlan Armour (Australia); Sean Ryan (Royal Dublin)
  • 08:25 (10) Peter McKeever (Castle); Robbie Pierse (Grange); Rory Williamson (Holywood)
  • 08:36 (10) Devin Morley (Oughterard); Paul Murphy (Rosslare); Darragh Coghlan (Portmarnock)
  • 08:47 (10) Alan Dowling (Hermitage); Stefan Greenberg (Tandragee); Allan Hill (Athenry)
  • 08:58 (10) John Greene (Portmarnock); Jack Blake (The Island); Jack Madden (Royal Portrush)
  • 09:09 (10) Robert Brazill (Naas); Stephen Healy (Royal Dublin); Mathew Kane (Larne)
  • 09:20 (10) Cathal Butler (Kinsale); Shaun Carter (Royal Dublin); Vikar Jonasson (Iceland)
  • 12:30 (1) David Foy (Laytown & Bettystown); Joe Lyons (Galway); William Russell (Clandeboye)
  • 12:41 (1) G Smyth (Clonmel); Anthony McDaid (Palmerstown Stud); Gary Ward (Kinsale)
  • 12:52 (1) Marc Norton (Belvoir Park); Michael Jnr Ryan (New Ross); Stephen Watts (Cairndhu)
  • 13:03 (1) Ross Dutton (Tandragee); Matias Lezcano (Argentina); Joseph Byrne (Baltinglass)
  • 13:14 (1) Eddie McCormack (Galway Bay); Sean Flanagan (Co. Sligo); Marcos Montenegro (Argentina)
  • 13:25 (1) Pat Murray (Clontarf); Mark Collins (Killeen Castle); Runar Arnorsson (Iceland)
  • 13:36 (1) Gary O'Flaherty (Cork); Colin Woodroofe (Dun Laoghaire); Daniel Holland (Castle)
  • 13:47 (1) Robert Cannon (Balbriggan); Jim Carvill (Banbridge); Geoff Lenehan (Portmarnock)
  • 13:58 (1) Jack McDonnell (Forrest Little); Jake Whelan (Newlands); Thomas O'Connor (Athlone)
  • 14:09 (1) Clayton Mansfield (South Africa); Mark Power (Kilkenny); Gary Collins (Rosslare)
  • 14:20 (1) Keith Egan (Carton House); Therion Nel (South Africa); Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk)
  • 12:30 (10) Reece Black (Hilton Templepatrick); TJ Ford (Co. Sligo); Peter Kirby (Dun Laoghaire)
  • 12:41 (10) Hugh Foley (Royal Dublin); Hugh O'Hare (Fortwilliam); David Reddan Jnr (Nenagh)
  • 12:52 (10) Gary Cullen (Beaverstown); John Hickey (Cork); Alexander Wilson (Portmarnock)
  • 13:03 (10) Marc Nolan (Dun Laoghaire); Sam Sweeney (USA); Charlie Denvir (Elm Park)
  • 13:14 (10) Eugene Smith (Laytown & Bettystown); Gerard Dunne (Co. Louth); Alan Fahy (Dun Laoghaire)
  • 13:25 (10) Paul O'Hanlon (Carton House); Gavin Fitzmaurice (Balcarrick); Ian O'Rourke (Royal Dublin)
  • 13:36 (10) Conor Purcell (Portmarnock); Aaron Grant (Dundalk); Andrew McCormack (Castletroy)
  • 13:47 (10) Eanna Griffin (Waterford); Tiarnan McLarnon (Massereene); John Murphy (Kinsale)
  • 13:58 (10) Dylan Brophy (Castleknock); Fraser Carr (Kirkistown Castle); Peter O' Keeffe (Douglas)
  • 14:09 (10) Christo Lamprecht (South Africa); Ronan Mullarney (Galway); Eoin Leonard (Killiney/Wentworth)
  • 14:20 (10) Rowan Lester (Hermitage); Jayden Schaper (South Africa); Paul Coughlan (Castleknock)