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Jonathan Caldwell reserves best Irish Open form for fans’ arrival



Jonathan Caldwell recovered from a shaky start

Jonathan Caldwell recovered from a shaky start

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Jonathan Caldwell recovered from a shaky start

Jonathan Caldwell joked that a group of supporters from home club Clandeboye should have arrived earlier as their presence coincided with a fantastic run that has him the leading Northern Irishman in the field after the opening day of the Horizon Irish Open.

The 38-year-old was two-over for the first 12 holes of his round at Mount Juliet and struggling to get anything going but, just as a group from the Co Down club arrived, Caldwell strung together four straight birdies, starting at the fourth, to get himself under-par. He would drop back one shot after a bogey at the par-five eighth, but a one-under 71 has him in a share of 78th alongside Shane Lowry, one shot off the cut mark as it stands.

“I’m happy enough. Disappointing to make six at the eighth, missed from four-feet after hitting a nice recovery shot. I had two sixes at the par-fives, if those are fours then I shoot five-under-par,” he lamented.

“But I feel like there’s a good score in me if I can keep making birdies and cut out those silly mistakes. I’ve made five birdies today, I haven’t been doing that recently. My recent rounds I’ve been making three or four birdies and finishing three or four-over-par.

“You’re obviously going to drop shots here and there so you have to make birdies to make up for them and I haven’t been doing that. It was nice to get five of them today.”

It was, meanwhile, a rollercoaster day for Ardglass man Cormac Sharvin, who looked to have rescued an under-par round when he chipped in for a rare eagle at the par-five eighth, his 17th hole, but then had to settle for a level-par 72 after a bogey at the ninth, which still gives him a fighting chance at sticking around for the weekend.

The 29-year-old is having to play with a back-up set of clubs in a kick-stand bag after his normal set were lost in transit on their way back from the BMW International Open in Munich last week, but he battled to a respectable score to give himself a chance of making the cut.

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Sharvin, who has only made one cut in 13 starts this season, mixed two birdies and two bogeys in his early round before sandwiching that impressive eagle between bogeys at the seventh and ninth to finish the day where he started.

Warrenpoint amateur Colm Campbell will, however, need a good second round today to make the cut after seven bogeys and two birdies in his opening round led to a five-over 77.

The Irish Amateur Open champion, playing in his second Irish Open after featuring at The K Club in 2016, completed his first nine holes — the back nine — in one-over but found the front nine tougher going as five bogeys saw him fall down the standings.

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