A young Irishman playing his first tournament as a professional took the first round lead at the Invitational Pro-am in Southern Spain.
Ciaran Boggan a 23-year-old from County Meath shot a five-under par 67 at the Finca Cortesin Club to earn one a shot lead over Spaniard Gabriel Canizares.
And that constituted the halfway lead in the chase for the 10,000 Euro first prize in the new tournament which had been reduced to a 36-hole event after the opening two rounds were washed out by heavy rain at the nearby San Roque and La Reserva courses.
Boggan, a member of the County Meath Club, only turned professional six weeks ago have spent two years travelling in Australia.
And he played down the extra stress of playing the Finca Cortesin layout, twice used to host the World Matchplay Championship, in sodden conditions after two early morning thunderstorms.
“The course was playing long, but I have good length off the tee,” he said. ”So I chose to keep the driver in the bag and used my three wood or two iron for accuracy.
“Avoiding the trouble I was then able to attack the greens and that paid off. It’s exciting to find myself at the top of the leaderboard in my first pro event.”
By way of contrast Canizares, the 40-year-old elder brother of European Tour Professional, Alejandro Canizares, knew exactly what he was letting himself in for when he entered The Invitational, which is being staged by the PGAs of Europe.
“I only live five minutes drive from the course,” he said. “And I have played here often. But never under such wet conditions as we had today.”
Robert Moss, the PGAs of Europe Tournament Director, added, “Things did not look too good with the early morning thunderstorms, but once the rain stopped the course drained fantastically.
“Preferred lies were in operation but the course just went from strength to strength as the day went on.”