Moriarty and Jenkinson share lead at Irish PGA Championship

Duo card three-under 68s at Roganstown as scoring proves tough on day one

Colm Moriarty, who was the essence of consistency in managing to keep a bogey off his card, and Shane Jenkinson took different routes but arrived at the same destination jointly atop the leaderboard after the first round of the 110th Irish PGA Championship at Roganstown Hotel & Country Club, outside Swords, after negotiating the Christy O'Connor Jnr-designed layout in three-under-par 68s.

Moriarty, a former winner of the Wales Challenge on the Challenge Tour where he spent a considerable part of his professional career, had showcased his current form with a 64 in the pre-tournament pro-am and continued in that rich vein with a bogey-free 68 that featured back-to-back birdies on the third and fourth and a further birdie on the 10th before a run of eight successive pars.

The 41-year-old Glasson attached club professional was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Dubliner Jenkinson, as the 31-year-old from nearby St Margaret’s had a rollercoaster ride that featured a fabulous eagle on the Par-5 fifth to go with five birdies and four bogeys.

Simon Thornton, a two-time winner of the Irish PGA, and Athenry's Seán Cannon were the only other players to dip under par on the opening round of the 54-holes championship but it proved to be a difficult day at the office for defending champion Damien McGrane, seeking a third title in five years.

McGrane had a nightmare finish, with three bogeys from the 15th followed by a closing double-bogey seven on the Par-5 18th as he ran up a 75. Former Ryder Cup player Philip Walton, too, had his troubles with a triple-bogey seven on the 13th and a double-bogey seven on the 18th proving card wreckers in signing for an 81.

Leading first-round scores

Roganstown (Par 71)
68
Shane Jenkinson (St Margaret's), Colm Moriarty (Glasson)

70 Seán Cannon (Athenry), Simon Thornton (Tulfarris)

71 Hazel Kavanagh (Impact Golf at Leopardstown), Eoin O'Brien (Clontarf), Paul Eivers (Cahir Park), David Higgins (Waterville), Neil O'Briain (Old Conna)

72 Jimmy Bolger (Kilkenny)

73 John McDermott (Grange), Michael McGeady (Evole Coaching), Richard O'Donovan (Unatt), Seán O'Donoghue (Mount Wolseley), Nathan Kernaghan (Massereene), Niall McGlynn (GUI National Academy), Richard Kilpatrick (Banbridge)

Selected Others

74 Tim Rice (Limerick)

75 Damien McGrane (Carlow)

81 Philip Walton (Unatt)