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Sep 25th, 2020

Three share lead at chilly Irish Open

Players struggle at Galgorm Castle course

There was a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard after day one of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, as Dean Burmester, Jordan Smith and Aaron Rai all carded five-under rounds of 65 at the tricky Galgorm Castle Golf Club.
Dean Burmester
The play was suspended at the very end of the day with just one group left to finish, but the trio was safe at the top, one stroke clear of Englishman Toby Tree heading into day two in Northern Ireland, where the performance of a homegrown amateur player set tongues wagging.
“I’m still cold. It’s been a long time since I’ve woken up and hit balls in the dark too, but the greens were perfect and obviously, it worked out for me today. I’m just happy to be back in the hut right now. " - Dean Burmester.
 “I am happy with today. I need to go work on my driving a little bit and holing out but apart from that very happy. It definitely is rough and with the moisture as well, it is really juicy. If you are going in there then you are struggling to get it out unless you have a really good lie, so it is a good test and it set up nicely. " Jordan Smith.
“It was good. I had a few good breaks when in the rough on a couple of occasions and fortunately made a few pars out of those situations, and hit a few fairways so I’m very pleased. Anything under par today would have been a good score. The rough was up, the wind was up, it’s a great test." - Aaron Rai.
Irishman James Sugrue, the 2019 Amateur Champion who played at last week's U.S. Open at Winged Foot, carded a three-under 67 to sit just two shots off the pace - drawing comparisons with a famous amateur victory in this tournament by one Shane Lowry 11 years ago.
Lowry, returning to home soil for the first time as Open Champion this week, struggled to an opening five over 75 while European Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington carded a one-over 71 in his first competitive appearance in six months.

TAGS: European Tour, Dean Burmester, Jordan Smith, Aaron Rai, Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, 2020