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Darren Clarke makes solid start in quest for first seniors Major at the Senior PGA Championship



Darren Clarke. Credit: Getty Images

Darren Clarke. Credit: Getty Images

Getty Images

Darren Clarke. Credit: Getty Images

Darren Clarke began his bid for a first seniors Major title with a three-under 68 in the opening round of the Kitchenaid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Resort in Michigan.

The former Open champion carded five birdies and a double bogey in his opening round to sit one shot off the early lead held by five players.

Clarke has struggled to start the season, failing to pick up a top-10 finish in his eight starts on the PGA Tour Champions, but his last two events have seen him finish in the top 15, with this a strong start to his Major tilt.

Meanwhile, Holywood teenager Tom McKibbin opened the Farmwoods Scottish Challenge with a one-under 70 at Newmachar, leaving him six shots off leader Nathan Kimsey.

The 19-year-old carded only two birdies but also kept the mistakes off the scorecard, with just one bogey.

Elsewhere, Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy fell off the lead at the Cubefunder Shootout on the EuroPro Tour as a one-over 73 dropped him back to four under, nine shots off leader James Allan.

The 28-year-old had started the day at Harleyford Golf Club in England one shot off the lead but four birdies and five bogeys means he has work to do in today’s final round if he wants to start the season with a win.

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Whitehead’s John-Ross Galbraith missed the cut.

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