Belfast Telegraph

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McGrane makes a good start

Ireland's Damien McGrane claimed the early clubhouse lead at the Ballantine's Championship in South Korea with a six-under-par round of 66 on the opening day at Blackstone GC.

The 40-year-old from Meath carded eight birdies and two bogeys to lead by one shot from England's Richard Finch and South Korean Park Sang-hyun.

McGrane has just one previous European Tour title to his name - the 2008 Volvo China Open - but enjoyed a good round in Incheon with birdies going out on the 12th, 14th, 16th and 18th and at the second, third, sixth and eighth coming home.

Finch produced a bogey-free round and concluded matters with a birdie four at the 18th to keep the 33-year-old in early contention for a third European Tour title, with his last coming at the Irish Open in 2008.

Park kept home interest going with six birdies, but finished with a 67 due to a bogey at 15.

Scotland's Richie Ramsay is alone in fourth after shooting four under par, while Ryder Cup stars Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter had disappointing days.

World number one Westwood was on course to be three under par - currently good enough for a share of fifth place - but bogeyed the seventh and shot a double-bogey six at the ninth, his last hole, to slip back into a share of 35th instead.

Poulter, the world number 17, made an awful start with consecutive double bogeys at the 10th and 11th, before recovering somewhat with a birdie at 14 and an eagle at the first.

He bogeyed the second to finish two over par.


From Belfast Telegraph