Hepworth the early leader in Northern Ireland

Hepworth the early leader in Northern Ireland

June 23rd, 2010


James Hepworth leads the way on the opening day of the latest event on the PGA EuroPro Tour.

Day one of the Galgorm Castle Northern Ireland PGA EuroPro Tour Open saw a host of low scores, with Hepworth’s nine-under the best.

Hepworth (Ilkley GC) finished tied seventh in the opening event in Norfolk in April and an eagle here on the third helped him to a one-shot lead over Ireland’s Barrie Trainor.

James Webber (Three Rivers Golf Club) is two shots off the lead on seven-under, while Jonathan Caldwell, is one of a number of players on six-under.

He dropped a shot at the fifth but birdies on holes three, four, eight, nine, ten, 16 and 17 saw him stay in contention for the £10,000 top prize.

Caldwell, a member of the Walker Cup team in 2007 alongside Rory McIlroy, normally plays on the Challenge Tour, where he is currently 61st on their Order of Merit.

This is the first EuroPro tour event Caldwell (Clandeyboye) has taken part in this season and he is well placed in the event, which concludes on Friday.

Ireland’s Michael Collins is also in the top ten, while Mark Campbell, Dale Marmion and Ian Keenan all went round in five-under, despite all claiming bogeys on the opening hole.

But Marmion hit five birdies in the last six holes, while Campbell (Team Ireland Golf) claimed three in the last five with Keenan ending with four birdies in the last five holes.

Keenan, who triumphed at Castle Dargan earlier this month, is currently third in the Order of Merit but could move top if he performs well in the rest of the tournament.

A host of players are on four-under, including Irish pair Shane Franklin and Paul O’Hanlon and England’s Alex Belt and Paul Maddy.

Australian Daniel Gaunt is the tour leader at the moment but could not capitalise on a fine start with three successive birdies and he sits six shots behind Hepworth.

For full score updates, go to www.europrotour.com and click on ‘Score Updates’ on the right-hand side.

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