Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan will take a one shot lead into the final day of the CFM sponsored €100,000 K Club Pro-Am where the K Club’s own Liam Grehan and Limerick’s Tim Rice head a high-quality chasing pack at the iconic Straffan venue.
Out in the morning half of the draw, EuroPro Tour regular Grehan took full advantage of the best scoring conditions to post seven birdies in a five-under par 67 on the Palmer North.
“I had a good day, I enjoyed it,” said Grehan who bogeyed two of the par-3s in his only blemishes on Monday.
“I feel like I’ve been playing really well. I was struggling with my putter over the past few weeks but still shooting under-par here and there.
“I’ve a nice feel now so it’s just a case of trying to keep the momentum going. The job’s only half done. There’s a lot of great players just behind me and there’s a fair bit of wind forecast tomorrow so you never know what could happen but I’m playing quite well so I’m looking forward to it.”
Also out in the morning wave, Liam Grehan fired a magnificent seven birdies of his own on the Palmer North in his four-under par opening 68.
“I’m thrilled with that,” said Liam who’s been teeing it up on the Clutch Pro Tour in recent weeks with one eye on this event.
“This has been the one all year, the biggest Pro-Am in the country on home soil and with all the members around. With CFM, one of the members here Paul Kelly sponsoring it, this is the one and it’s great to get a nice start to it.”
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Far from receiving preferential treatment on site at the K Club, with a double shotgun start in operation across both courses, it’s been all hands on deck for the host venue’s golf operations team and the Assistant Pro was no exception, back in the Pro Shop post-round for his afternoon shift.
“The golf season is short so it’s all hands on deck when you’re in the middle of it but I don’t mind – it’s nice when you’re playing well,” said Grehan ahead of another morning shift before an afternoon tee-time on the South course on Tuesday.
“I haven’t played the South in a while but I hear the rough’s up in preparation for the Irish Challenge (July 28-31) so you’ll have to be driving it well,” he said.
“But yeah, I’m back in the shop in the morning. We’ve everyone working hard here at the minute so hopefully we’ll make the event look as good as I’ll hopefully play!”
Experienced campaigner Rice was ultra-impressive out in the tougher side of the draw; the Limerick man signing for a four-under 68 to draw within one of the lead.
The cream is already rising to the top of the leaderboard at the K Club with Glasson’s Colm Moriarty in fourth place on two-under, one clear of Carlow Head Pro and former European Tour winner Damien McGrane in outright fifth place after a one-under 71.
Another former European Tour winner Simon Thornton is a shot further back on level par, the same score as K Club pro Conor O’Rourke who sits in a share of sixth alongside Ardglass DP World Tour member, Cormac Sharvin, Glenlo Abbey’s Gary Madden, Rowan Lester and Clontarf’s Gary McGrane.
97 teams teed it up on the opening day comprising of three amateurs and one pro with the five leading teams after 36-holes set to be awarded prizes on Tuesday evening at the conclusion of Europe’s richest Pro-Am.
The team to catch are led by Neil O’Briain (McGuirks Golf) with amateur partners Michael and Pat Kelly and Anthony Murray returning an incredible score of 95 points in ideal morning conditions on the Palmer South Course.
- Full scoring HERE