Thursday 29 September 2016

Casey off to flyer as Irish open well in Tour School bid

Ian Mitchelmore

Published 07/11/2015 | 02:30

Irish Amateur Open champion Gavin Moynihan also made a good start by scoring 68 at El Saler near Valencia (Stock image)
Irish Amateur Open champion Gavin Moynihan also made a good start by scoring 68 at El Saler near Valencia (Stock image)

Brian Casey of Headfort was the top scorer of the 12 Irish Tour School hopefuls who teed off in the second qualifying stage at four venues in Spain yesterday.

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Casey struck eight birdies on his way to an impressive seven-under-par round of 65 at the Panoramica course in Castellon to finish day one in third spot.

The Meath native made five consecutive birdies from holes seven through 11 to lie three shots off Spain's Scott Fernandez.

Irish Amateur Open champion Gavin Moynihan also made a good start by scoring 68 at El Saler near Valencia. Moynihan struck five birdies and only one bogey to end the day tied third on four-under, two shots off the lead held by Sweden's Jarmo Sandelin.

At the same venue, Chris Selfridge filed a 70, but Michael McGeady has a lot to do if he is to get back in contention for a place in the Tour School finals. The Donegal man closed with a 76 leaving him in tied 61st on four-over par.

Colm Campbell Jnr and Jonny Caldwell, a 2007 Walker Cup team-mate of Rory McIlroy's, were in fine form as they each carded a four-under 68s at Panoramica.

Contention

A bogey at the 18th saw Jack Hume end day one on level-par after a round of 72 that included birdies at the second and fifth holes. Gary Hurley, another Walker Cup winner, and 2012 British Amateur champion Alan Dunbar were bracketed together on 68 at Lumine.

That opening bid left the Irish players just two strokes behind England's Matt Wallace and Scotland's Jack Doherty who top the standings.

Open Championship star Paul Dunne remains in contention after carding a one-under-par round of 70, leaving him four strokes off the lead in tied 39th.

At Los Colinas in Alicante, Richard Kilpatrick kick-started the second qualifying phase with a level-par 71.

Headfort's Rory McNamara shot 73 to end the opening day tied 56th.

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