Kilpatrick grabs Irish PGA Championship lead at Galway Bay Golf Resort

Richard Kilpatrick

Richard Kilpatrick fired a four under par 68 in tricky conditions to grab the lead on day one of the 108th Irish PGA Championship at Galway Bay Golf Resort.
The Banbridge golfer, playing with a nagging hip injury, leads Mark Staunton (Delgany GC) by a shot with four players, including defending champion, Tim Rice (Limerick GC), back in a share of third on one under par.
“It was windy but it wasn’t as bad as we initially thought it was going to be. It was very playable,” said Kilpatrick who posted a round that included seven birdies and three bogeys.
“I’m trying to manage the problem with my hip at the minute. That means I haven’t been practicing much so my expectations are pretty low, I just go out and play golf.”
Staunton felt he had been ‘relatively lucky’ with the draw having begun his round just as the worst of the morning showers cleared.
“You were playing into a three-club wind at times so you had to try and work it around a bit. It wasn’t pretty,” said the 36-year-old.

“I birdied all the par fives but I also got a couple of good breaks on the back nine. I hit a few bad shots and luckily they finished in the right spots.”

Rice stayed in touch with a three birdie, two bogey round of 71 as did Wednesday’s Pro-Am winner, Brian McEhinney (North West), who signed for a level par 72.
Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort), currently lying third in the PGA in Ireland Order of Merit was a ‘bit disappointed’ with his round having reached three under after 12 holes.
“I played lovely tee to green. I had the ball the under control for most of the round and could possibly have holed more putts,” said Thornton.
“I birdied 12 to get it three under and then had a shank on 13 which led to a double-bogey. After that, I parred my way home.”
Thornton sits on one under par in joint third alongside Rice, Steven Quinlan (SQ Golf) and Neil O’Briain (Old Conna GC).
As a result of Storm Callum, the second round was delayed until 2pm when a shot-gun start will be in operation.

108th Irish PGA Championship at Galway Bay Golf Resort 

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