Mark Gazi and Alberto Banos Ramos made blistering starts to the 2022 McGregor Trophy by carding four under par rounds of 67 to share the top of the day one leaderboard at Sherwood Forest Golf Club.
16-year-old Gazi, from Tralee Golf Club, delivered a sterling round that featured six birdies, including four in the first five holes, and just two dropped shots.
Meanwhile Ramos enjoyed a stellar round which included four birdies and no dropped shots to leave the Spaniard in a share of the lead at the end of the first day.
The recent warm and dry weather saw the fairways run fast and with the greens in superb condition, the under 16 boys’ field were able to make the most of the conditions.
In total there were eight players under par for their first round – a testament to the excellent performances around a course totalling 6,835 yards and playing to a par of 71.
Wednesday will see a further 18 holes played before the halfway cut is made ahead of the final 36 holes on Thursday.
“I started off really well – I had three birdies on the first three holes,” Gazi said.
“I made a strong up and down on the first, a good putt on the second and it just ran away from there really.
“The front nine is playing a little bit easier than the back nine – holes 10 to 13 are pretty hard holes to score well on!
“I just stuck to the game, hit straight shots and didn’t do anything stupid. I just hit greens and scored well.”
Tuesday saw slightly cooler weather conditions following the intense heat of Monday’s practice round and Gazi (pictured above) admitted it helped his play.
He added: “I come from Ireland so I’m not really used to the hot weather and it was nice to get some light rain around holes 14 and 15!
“The fairways are really firm and the greens are in really good condition so it was a good first experience for me at Sherwood Forest.
“I wasn’t really expecting much from this competition so I’m quite surprised and happy at how I’ve started off.
“We’ll see what happens next!”
Dylan Hussey from Romford (pictured above) played a shot to remember at the 7th hole at Sherwood Forest – holing out from 131 yards with a wedge for an ace.
Photography credit: Leaderboard