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Stephen Grant storms to the top in Brittany

The former Shamrock Rovers star is in a three-way tie for the lead after day one of the Allianz Open Côtes d’Armor Bretagne.

Image: Amanda Leeming/Press Association Images

STEPHEN GRANT BATTLED his way to the top of the leaderboard on a a wet and windy first day at the Allianz Open Côtes d’Armor Bretagne.

The former Shamrock Rovers star shot an opening round of 67  at the European Challenger Tour event in Brittany, enough to leave him in a three-way tie for the overnight lead.

English duo Chris Hanson and Eddie Pepperell finished alongside Grant on three-under par.

But it could have been even better for the Birr native whose only dropped shots of the day came at the par-four 16th where he lost his ball and took a card-spoiling double-bogey.

Despite that disappointing blip, he was happy to come through the testing conditions relatively unscathed.

“It was really tough out there, it was just a battle,” Grant told EuropeanTour.com. “I was just trying to make pars and stay patient, and for the most part I managed to do that.

I played some solid golf, and was in control of my ball all day – other than the one bad swing on the 14th.

It was tough, and probably a few years ago I would’ve been blown out of the tournament. But I’m now a much more experienced player, so I’m proud of the way I fought and dug in.

Grant, 35, retired from football in 2004 to concentrate on golf, calling time on a career which included spells in England and America as well as the League of Ireland.

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