The Irish contingent were left trailing in the wake of KLM Dutch Open pacesetters Paul Lawrie and Wade Ormsby at Kennemer Golf & Country Club yesterday..
Former British Open winner Lawrie, 46, and Ormsby, 35, each had the best round of their careers to top the leaderboard with a nine-under-par 61 - and that was good enough for just a one-shot lead ahead of their nearest challenger, Richard Bland of England.
At one stage, Lawrie admitted he seriously considered the prospect of shooting 59, while late finisher Ormsby enjoyed a birdie-fest, shooting six of them in his last seven holes to tie with the Scot.
"Sixty-one - it sounds good, doesn't it? I played very nicely and putted very well again," Lawrie said. "My previous best was 63 in the third round of the Dunhill Links when I won. I was ten-under after 12 holes that day and shot nine-under.
"The 59 did cross my mind. I had a long putt on the seventh - my 16th - for eagle after a lovely three-wood in there, and had that popped in there I would have only had to birdie one of the last two to make it. It was at the back of my mind."
Ormsby, who has yet to win on the Tour, said: "That's the lowest score I've had in any round, let alone tournament golf."
Simon Thornton, the English-born golfer who is now an Irish citizen, scored a creditable 67, three-under par, while Peter Lawrie on two-under was next best of the Irish.
Paul McGinley got around in one-under-par 69 but given that 101 players were on par at better, the other Irish players will have to go low today to make the cut.
Pádraig Harrington and Darren Clarke each scored 71, while Damien McGrane was on two-over par and Kevin Phelan languished in tied-133rd on three-over. KLM Open, live, Sky Sports 4
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