Friday 15 December 2017

Irish struggle with early pace


EAGLES on his final two holes catapulted Denmark's Morten Orum Madsen to a seven under-par 63 and a share of the lead after the opening round of the European Tour's Tshwane Open at the Pretoria Country Club yesterday.

European Ryder Cup captain, Ireland's Darren Clarke, missed the cut at the Joburg Open last month and is in danger of doing so again after hitting one over-par 71.

Ireland's other contenders are also off the early pace - Michael Hoey best-placed after a level par round of 70 while Damien McGrane shot a five over par round of 75.

Dane Madsen is level with England's David Horsey, who carded seven birdies in his flawless opening round, with the pair a shot better off than South African Wallie Coetsee and Brett Rumford from Australia.

Madsen, 26, started his round on the back nine, finishing at the par three eighth and par five ninth holes.

His first eagle was the 20th hole-in-one on the European Tour this season as he spun his tee shot back into the cup with a precise wedge.

He followed that with an eagle putt from 12 feet at the ninth.

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