Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Hurley best of the Irish at Danish Golf Challenge – Irish Golfer Magazine

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Haraldur Magnus, Gudmundur Kristjansson and Andreas Halvorsen all carded six-under-par rounds of 66 to share a one stroke lead on the opening day of the Danish Golf Challenge at Odense Eventyr Golf.

Icelander Magnus fired eight birdies in his opening round – including four-in-a-row to finish his back nine – to take a share of the lead into the second round. The 33-year-old highlighted his putting as the key to his success on a wet and windy day in Odense which saw heavy rain showers throughout the morning and early afternoon.

“I made a lot of long putts,” he said. “I don’t think I played that well, I just managed to score really well and take advantage of all the good breaks that I had.

“It was tough out there, but I managed to stay dry in the rain. I’ve got an advantage being from Iceland – we play in that a lot.”

Magnus’ compatriot Kristjansson joins him at the top of the leaderboard after carding seven birdies and a bogey, including a low-scoring five-under-par front nine. The Icelander was particularly pleased with his long game in the soft afternoon conditions.

“It was a very good round,” he said. “I came in not really sure how I would approach it, but the conditions were quite soft, so you could be aggressive off the tee and have a lot of wedges into the green.

“I wanted to see how the driver was behaving today, but I was hitting it good, so I just kept hitting it without much thought.”

Rounding out the leaders on day one in Denmark is Norwegian Halvorsen, who opened his round with four birdies in a bogey-free back nine before firing an eagle on the par five eighth to join the Icelanders in pole position. The 27-year-old, who has two top 20 finishes in four starts on the Road to Mallorca this season, was delighted with his round, which saw him take advantage of playing in the dry late-afternoon conditions.

“Today was really great,” he said. “I got off to a really good start and kept playing pretty good as the conditions got better.

“It was much easier playing in the afternoon. I got lucky with the draw today, so I was just trying to take advantage of that as much as I could.”

The leading trio are one shot clear of German Marc Hammer, Scot Ryan Lumsden, and Dane Peter Launer Baek, who share a tie for fourth at five-under-par.

Swedish duo Christofer Blomstrand and Tobias Edén, Frenchman Pierre Pineau, Spaniard Joel Moscatel, and Danes Hamish Brown and Victor Hougaard Sidal Svendsen lie a further shot back in seventh.

West Waterford’s Gary Hurley is five shots off the pace on one-under after a 71 that included a birdie on the last while John Murphy faces another battle to make the cut from level-par.

Conor O’Rourke and Ronan Mullarney are both three-over after rounds of 75 with Ruaidhri McGee on plus five.

Dermot McElroy carded an uncharacteristic round of 81 while Harry Uzzell props up the leaderboard on eleven-over.

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