Lernihan impresses in PGA Challenge


0808Irish Carton House

Dara Lernihan climbed to the top of the leaderboard in the opening round of the Johnston, Mooney and O’Brien €10,000 PGA Challenge, at Carton House.

The Elm Park trainee stormed in, almost at the end of the day, with a sizzling six-under-par 66 to leap ahead of Mark Staunton and Kevin McGivern at the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage in the tournament.

He said: “This is only my second outing on the Irish circuit and I’m certainly happy with that 66 but it could have been better as I had a few lip outs.

“After spending two years full-time on the Alps Tour, I’m now ready to do my training at Elm Park."

Seven birdies were sprinkled over his impressive card with just one bogey included. That lapse was at the short fourth hole after he had made birdie at the long third.

His other birdies were pencilled in at six, eight, nine, 11, 12 and 15 as he covered both halves in three-under-33. Lernihan had 11 fours and five threes on his card.

Former PGA Ulster champion Staunton had back-to-back birdies to start with and to finish with plus others at long holes six and 15, with his lapse being bogey five at the fifth hole.

McGivern’s card was a pot-pourri of scores with only seven pars recorded. The Mannan Castle pro made eight birdies and three bogeys.

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