The PGA in Ireland’s Damian Mooney, Michael McDermott and Eamonn Brady made their intentions clear through Round 01 of the 2016 International Team Championship at Gloria Hotels & Resorts in Turkey, aiming to win a Championship that has eluded them for the last seven editions.
Damian Mooney of Ireland and Scotland’s Greig Hutcheon made light of the damp conditions to each post five-under-par rounds of 67 (-5). With each team comprising three members and the best two scores counting, Ireland go into day two with a slender advantage at the head of the field on seven-under (137) as they attempt to win the trophy for the first time since 2008.
Eamonn Brady, who was a member of that winning ‘08 line-up at Roda in Spain, was in action again at the tournament’s current home, Gloria Golf Club in the Turkish resort of Belek.
He weighed in with a round of one-under (71) while teammate Michael McDermott negotiated the New Course in two-under (70). However, both were upstaged by Mooney.
His round comprised six birdies and one bogey as Ireland opened up with a round of seven-under to lead Team Scotland by a stroke.
And just as Mooney inspired the Irish, the Scots had their own talisman in Greig Hutcheon. He also finished on five-under after a round that, like Mooney, featured six birdies and a solitary bogey.
Greg McBain also registered for the Scots with a round of one-under while Graham Fox, a member of the trio that lost in a play-off to France in 2015 and won the event in 2014, was level par.
Just three strokes behind second on three-under (141) are the teams of Germany and the Netherlands, whilst England lie in fifth on a two-under (142) total, having squandered a promising start.
Team Germany were inspired by Dennis Küpper, whose round of three-under (69) was the second best individual performance of the day, and Joost Steenkamer followed suit for the PGA of Holland, posting a round of two-under (70).
Team Finland and Team Wales share sixth pace on a one-under par total (143).
Not far behind on one-over (145) lie the PGA of Russia, the early leaders in the chase to be the second winners of the International Team Shield.
The Shield will be awarded to the team representing a PGA with 100 members or fewer and defending champions Turkey are two shots further back on three-over.
PGA in Ireland (-7); PGA in Scotland (-6); PGA of Germany, PGA of Holland (-3); PGA in England (-2); PGA of Finland, PGA in Wales (-1)
For more information on the Confederation of Professional Golf visit the Tournament Hub Page (http://eur.pe/ITC-2016), follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter search the Hashtag ‘#ITC’, or like the Confederation of Professional Golf Facebook Page.
For more information on Gloria Hotels & Resorts visit Gloria.com.tr.