Sport Golf

Saturday 25 November 2017

McGinley makes most of late start

Bernie McGuire, in Hilversum

Paul McGinley made the most of a delay of just over four hours due to vandalism and heavy rain on the opening day of the KLM Open.

A total of 45 minutes were lost before play commenced after vandals attacked four of the greens, and there was a further four and a quarter hours lost due to persistent rain meaning McGinley, in his capacity as Vivendi Seve Trophy captain, was able to speak to the players who will be involved in his team for the event.

Reigning Irish Open winner Simon Dyson and Germany's Marcel Siem head the field after posting five-under-par 65s. The delay meant the afternoon half of the draw didn't tee up until late in the day, including Rory McIlroy who arrived at 11.30am but didn't start until 5.45. But the US champion was soon struggling on the greens when he missed a three-footer for birdie at the first.

McIlroy was then seen slapping the face of his putter when he missed a similar length putt for par at the third. When play was halted due to poor light, he had played eight holes and was on one-over-par.

McGinley, Shane Lowry and Michael Hoey signed for level-par 70s to head those Irish who managed to complete a round.

With more rain forecast, Tour officials will be considering the option of going through to Monday.

Meanwhile, Ireland's Simon Thornton and Colm Moriarty were hot on the heels of the biggest prize on offer on the European Challenge Tour after yesterday's first round of the €400,000 Kazakhstan Open.

Thornton shot a flawless 67 to share second place with England's Chris Lloyd on five-under, while Moriarty posted a bogey-free 68 to tie fourth at the Almaty golf course. Finland's Antti Ahokas leads the field on six-under.

KLM Open,

Live, Sky Spts 1, 10.30 & Sky Spts 2, 3.30

Irish Independent

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