credit (© Golffile | Thos Caffrey)

 

Local golfer Ruairi O’Connor claimed a share of the lead after Day 1 of the Connolly’s Audi West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at County Sligo Golf Club.

O’Connor shot 70 on Friday to lie on -1 alongside Rory Williamson, Eoin Sullivan and pre championship favourite Arron Edwards-Hill.

Reigning AIG Irish Amateur Close champion Quentin Carew is part of a group on level par while last year’s Bridgestone Order of Merit winner Hugh Foley is four shots further adrift after a 75.

Holder Alan Fahy found it difficult to get going and he is on +8 alongside Joshua Hill and Peter O’Keefe. But it’s the Rosses Point man who is joint leader with Williamson, Sullivan and Edwards-Hill.

O’Connor, who finished down the rankings in last year’s Bridgestone Order of Merit, teed off in the third group shortly before 8am. Four straight birdies in a blistering front nine saw him go out in 33 but a couple of bogeys after the turn meant that he failed to separate himself from the field.

Ah, we all know the place very well at this stage, everyone’s played it enough times now for it not to make too much of a difference,” said O’Connor.

I won’t be far away at the end of day, I’d imagine. I’d be surprised if there’s anything better than two or three under. I can’t see five or six, but I suppose, you never know.”

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