Meadow spearheads Irish charge with amateurs Wilson and Walsh shining on first day
ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women, presented by Modest! Golf Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday 15 August 2019
Tournament: ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women, Presented by Modest! Golf
Twitter/Hashtag: @World_Inv_Golf #WorldInvitational
Six under par was the score of the day at the ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women, Presented by Modest! Golf Management as Craig Ross and Eleanor Givens wrote their names into the record books as first round leaders.
Ross, from Scotland, carded a six under par 64 at Massereene Golf Club while England’s Givens signed for her own six under par 67 at Galgorm Castle Golf Club to each lead their respective tournaments by one stroke from two competitors.
Five of the top seven players in tied fourth or better in the men’s tournament were playing at Massereene, while 13 of the top 14 in the women’s tournament opened their tournament at Galgorm Castle, highlighting how the scoring contrasted at each set-up.
With heavy rain curtailing the Pro-Am on Wednesday, both courses were wet underfoot early on day one, with the majority of the low scorers playing later in the day.
Ross’s superb bogey-free 64 set the pace in the men’s tournament ahead of England’s Richard Mansell and Frenchman Gary Stal on five under par, while Calum Hill, who has won twice in his last three starts is a shot further back among the pack on four under par.
Givens, meanwhile, leads on six under from American Beth Allen and Germany’s Karolin Lampert, who are two shots clear of Silvia Banon, Manon de Roey, Annabel Dimmock and local star Stephanie Meadow on three under par.
Tomorrow, competitors will switch courses so those playing at Galgorm Castle today will play at Massereene tomorrow and vice versa, before the field is cut to 60 and ties in both the men’s and women’s tournaments.
Eleanor Givens (Eng)
I’m really pleased with how I played today. I played really solid golf and was really happy with how it was. It’s actually my first time playing with some new clubs I have so it was nice to start with that and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.
It’s actually been really nice weather and the greens are rolling really nicely so there’s definitely a score out there to be had. I had a little bit of a slow patch towards the end of my first nine holes but then played really well on the back nine.
There’s some interesting weather coming our way. We played in some interesting weather last week in Scotland as well so I’ve had a lot of practice recently and I’d rather play in sunshine, but will see what comes.
I’ll just stay really patient and try to play as steady as possible. Massereene is another really nice golf course so I’ll just deal with whatever comes our way and keep going.
It’s nice to play in the Northern Hemisphere in this format. I played in the Vic Open before so I was really excited to try and do that here and I’m glad I could come.
Craig Ross (Sco)
It was great to put a 64 together today. I’ve had some poor performances to start the season, so it’s nice to be able to put a strong score together out there today.
I was missing a few greens early on but made some good up-and-downs over my opening nine and then on the closing nine I was just able to slot in some birdie putts and it was obviously great to finish with five birdies in the last six holes.
I was expecting the scores to be a lot lower, especially looking at the results in the Northern Ireland Open in the past, so I was little surprised to see that four under was leading after the morning although this course is a little tricky to master because the two nines play quite differently.
I’m expecting Galgorm Castle to be a little tougher tomorrow, especially because the weather’s not looking so good but I’m just going to try and do more of the same stuff.
I really enjoyed playing in the Jordan Mixed Open, where we were paired up with one woman and a senior. I know this event is a little bit different in that we are not playing directly against the girls but it’s cool to see another format like this on the schedule and I’ve been really enjoying the experience so far.
SELECTED IRISH QUOTES
Stephanie Meadow (Galgorm) 70 (-3)
I started well and was then a little shaky in the middle, but battled back towards the end. I hit a lot of good putts but nothing really fell. Overall it's a decent start. I was a little nervous on the first tee, more emotional than anything. I want to play well and give everybody a show who came to support me.
Great event so far. I enjoy being with the men, we do the same thing week in, week out, 25 weeks a year, so to see some new faces and even hear the sound on the driving range of the guys hitting is a little strange. It's nice, it's a good change.
Annabel Wilson (AM) (Massereene) 71 (-2)
I’m just delighted to be here. Walking to the first tee I was so excited. Putted lovely all day and had a chip-in which always helps. It’s my first professional tournament so I’m here to learn and enjoy. I just played my game and I’m going to do the same tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes from there.
The rough is super long, you can’t take it for granted. You’ve just got to take your medicine and try to get up-and-down which I was able to do well today.
Lauren Walsh (AM) (Galgorm) 70 (-2)
So happy with that. It’s my first time playing in a professional event, I’m delighted to be up there. I had my sister on the bag this week, a scratch handicapper, so she kept me nice and level through the round
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, the course is a little longer than we would usually play in amateur events but I birdied the first and that gave me some momentum. I’m heading to America to start university at Wake Forest next week, so this has been a really good way to finish my summer.
Cormac Sharvin (Massereene) 68 (-2)
Played really nicely tee to green, probably as bad a score as it could have been. Gave myself good chances on practically every hole, drove it well and my iron play was very good. It was playing tricky, a lot trickier than I thought it was going to be so I’m pretty happy with two-under. Solid start I would say. Managed things well and stayed patient.
Format is good. To be honest we struggled to keep up with the women in front. We got monitored at one stage. The women seem to be playing pretty quick, maybe they’re showing us how it’s done!
Josh Hill (AM) (Galgorm) 70 (L)
I played well. Unfortunately I had that triple on 17 but I bounced back well with that eagle on 18, which was good fun. I enjoyed that. I snapped my drive in the thick stuff on 17. It’s my first Challenge Tour event, so it was good to see how I did under the pressure.
It has lived up to everything I thought it would be. The pressure and the first tee shot was something I haven’t had before, then I just enjoyed the whole day. It was a good experience.
-Release Courtesy of European Challenge Tour