The PGA of Great Britain & Ireland’s Gareth Wright made an early move into lead position carding a one-under par 71 and the sole sub-par round of the day at Portmarnock Golf Club just outside Dublin, Ireland, as the 2014 Carr Golf Invitational Pro-Am got under way.
Wright takes the lead through Round 1 of the Confederation of Professional Golf-Sanctioned Pro-Am that visits a roster of some of the finest links golf courses in the world – Portmarnock, Royal Portrush, and Royal County Down.
A steady opening five pars in a row for Wright was a great start, but then a birdie at the par-five sixth hole took him below par for the front nine. Another early birdie on the back nine at 11 was closely followed with a bogey at 12, after which a further six regulations pars finished the round as smoothly as it started.
But for Wright a good score could have been on the cards throughout the round mentioning how it was “the worst the score could have been” and that he missed “half a dozen from six-feet,” indicating he could still have a strong charge within him.
Fellow GB&I PGA Member, Sean McTernan, sits just two shots behind Wright at one-over par total having mirrored Wright’s one-under front nine, but had a more tumultuous back nine with two birdies and four bogeys for a 73 total. Should the top-two remain close for the week then it could end up being a replay of the battles the pair had as amateur rivals ten years ago.
Sharing tie-third place are PGA of America Professionals, Jim Deiters and Ryan George who each carded two-over par 74s.
In the Team Pro-Am half of the competition, scoring was clearly tough as the teams battled the worsening weather conditions but two teams share the lead with 75 points a piece: New Albany CC (1) made up of amateurs Ken Weixel, Barry Holme, Brad Weixel, along with Professional, Paul Hollenbaugh, and Midland Country Club (1) consisting of Professional, Deiters, and amateurs Dave Dittenber, Dan Lee, and Jim Bicknell.
Midland Country Club (2) with amateurs Dave Basque, Gary Carter, and Tom Webber led by Profesisonal John Nowosatka, are one back on 74 points, but with no less than nine teams within five shots of the lead things could change up quickly as the teams make their way into Round 2.
Weather conditions are set to worsen further as the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo moves across the country bringing high winds, and will certainly make Round 2 at Royal County Down Golf Club more interesting for all concerned.
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