Fox leads Irish challenge
Portmarnock's James Fox leads the Irish challenge after yesterday's first round over the Royal St David's links at Harlech.
On a sunny day, Fox matched the par of 69 with a solid all-round performance -- but despite that, he finds himself six strokes off the pace set by Scotland's Greg Patterson from the St Andrews New club.
Fox was pretty steady throughout with just two birdies -- at the seventh and the tricky 13th -- and two bogeys, including one at the second, one of the easier holes on the course.
Dubliner James Monaghan posted a creditable 70, which comprised halves of 36 and 34 -- he finished with a birdie two on the challenging short 18th. He recorded four birdies and five bogeys.
The experienced pair of Dara Lernihan from Castle and Knock's Nick Grant both returned 71 and Andrew Hogan from Newlands and Jeff Hopkins from Skerries are on 72.
Lernihan's chances of a really good score were dashed when he dropped strokes on each of the first three holes. An eagle on the fifth, where he holed his second shot after a fine drive, was the highlight of his round during which he had halves of 36 and 35.
Hogan recorded five bogeys and two birdies in his level halves of 36, while Hopkins was steady.
Patterson goes into the second round two strokes clear of Lincolnshire's David Coupland and Sam Binning from Ranfurly Castle, Renfrewshire.
It was a day when home-based players struggled, the best them being Luke Thomas who finished four strokes adrift of the leader.