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Early bird Ormsby starts well at Irish Open

Ormsby handles superb Lahinch Golf Club's layout well - file photo (Photo: Henry Peters)
South Australian Wade Ormsby is just two shots from the lead after day one of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open being played at the Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland’s west, his round of 5 under 65, holding up for most of the day before Padraig Harrington and then South Africa’s Zander Lombard moved past him.

Harrington leads by one over Lombard with Ormsby in a group of seven players another shot back and tied for 3rd.

Ormsby has made five of his last six cuts on the European Tour but has seldom contended since his impressive runner-up finish earlier this year at the Vic Open.

The 2017 Hong Kong Open winner was out in the first group in today’s opening round and although dropping a shot at the 5th hole he recovered with five birdies in his next seven holes and then added another at the last to take the early lead.

“A bit of a slow start,” said Ormsby referring to his early bogey. “It was pretty cold this morning. Soft bogey up 5 I think and then I got it going after that. I holed a putt off the green and all becoming a little bit easier.

“I didn't warm up terribly well this morning, so obviously very happy with the round regardless of warm up, good or bad, when you're shooting 65.

“I'll go and do some work this afternoon. My ball-striking wasn't very good in warm-up - very good early on - but there's always work to be done on the game, so try and do a bit of that.”

Ormsby is currently 87th in the Race to Dubai standings so a good week here is important for his endeavours to retain is status in Europe and to potentially advance to play the season-ending event in Dubai later in the year.

A winner of just two events in his now 15 year career as a professional, Ormsby will play in the afternoon field tomorrow where he will likely face breezy conditions on the highly regarded links layout being used for the first time in a European Tour event.

The leader Harrington thrilled local crowds as he looks to win his second Irish Open, 12 year on from his first in 2007, a year in which he also won his first Open Championship.

“I had neutral expectations,” said Harrington. “At least that's what I was going for. I've been playing all year trying to find my game. I've been struggling coming back after my wrist injury. You know, this week, I just decided I'd go and play and try and get stock on my game.

“You know, that's kind of been the feedback I've been getting from my team around me: Let's go out and play and see where we're at.

“I didn't expect 63 out of it. I was expecting a few weeks to get my head in the game and we could then get our bearings.”

Other Australians to do reasonably well on the opening day include Sam Brazel at 2 under and Lucas Herbert even par although with 67 players under par after day one they still have work to do.

 

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