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Kearney fires course-record 65 to storm into lead at Dutch Open

The 33-year-old Dubliner shot a bogey-free, seven-under-par opening round and leads by a shot heading into Friday.

Dublin's Niall Kearney.
Dublin's Niall Kearney.
Image: Peter Fitzpatrick/INPHO

NIALL KEARNEY LEADS the KLM Dutch Open at the close of the first round after he shot a course-record 65 at Bernardus on Thursday.

The Dubliner’s bogey-free, seven-under-par round saw him take into the clubhouse a one-shot lead over Denmark’s Martin Simonsen and Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer, while there nine players a shot further back on five under.

Kearney was rust-free after a three-week absence from the course, sinking seven birdies — on 2, 5, 8, 10, and then with an excellent late flourish on 15, 16 and 18.

Graeme McDowell, who will be one of Padraig Harrington’s vice captains at next week’s Ryder Cup, is the next best-placed of the Irish contingent in Holland on one under.

Dublin’s Gavin Moynihan is even par after his opening-round 72, while Ardglass native Cormac Sharvin is a shot further back after his 73.

Cork’s James Sugrue is two over after a 74, while Dublin’s Paul Dunne is four over after struggling to a 76.

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