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Dublin: 6 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018

Steady start for Dunne in first round of The Open, Lowry +3 and 2011 champion Clarke struggles

The action is underway at Carnoustie.

Updated Jul 19th 2018, 3:19 PM

PAUL DUNNE AND Shane Lowry were the first Irish players in the clubhouse after the opening round of the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie, while it was a day to forget to 2011 title winner Darren Clarke.

pjimage (1) Shane Lowry and Paul Dunne both in action during the first round of The Open championship. Source: PA Images

Dunne had a steady start as he finished with a level par 71, while Lowry was forced to rue some early dropped shots as he ended up three-over after hitting 74. Clarke endured a disastrous first round as he finished 11-over, posting 82, and is 16 shots behind the current leader, American Kevin Kisner.

Wicklow native Dunne, the leader of the 2015 Open championship after three rounds while still an amateur, got off to a bad start with a bogey on the first before pulling that shot back on the second. He dropped another shot on the 9th to reach the turn one-over but eight pars and a birdie on the 12th saw him end his opening level par.

Lowry finished consistently with eight straight pars but had encountered setbacks before then with dropped shots on the 2nd, 5th and a double-bogey on the 10th. The Offaly man’s only birdie of the day arrived on the 7th.

Clarke got off to a poor start in his round and matters went downhill from there. A double-bogey at the 2nd was followed by bogeys on the subsequent two holes but he arrested the slide with a birdie on the 6th to reach the turn at +3.

British Open Golf Darren Clarke plays out of the rough on the first day of the 2018 Open Championship. Source: Jon Super

On the back nine, it all started to unravel for Clarke as double-bogeys at the 10th, 11th and 18th contributed to a disappointing opening day showing.  Rory McIlroy is currently level on the course after eight holes while Padraig Harrington has parred his first hole of the day.

American Kevin Kisner is currently the first round leader after posting a five-under 66 with Erik Van Rooyen shooting 67.

South African Brandon Stone finished three-under and further back the English pair of Matthew Southgate and Danny Willett, and Spaniard Jon Rahm are amongst a group of players who have signed for 69.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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