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Mixed bag for the Irish in Andorra as French duo lead on Alps Tour – Irish Golfer Magazine

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There were mixed fortunes for the Irish quintet in Andorra today with Robert Moran having the best of the early knockings on the opening day, his three-under 68 seeing him in good shape heading into day two.

The Golf Andorra Open is closely contested after day-one with a phalanx of eight French players at the top of the rankings, including OOM leader Benjamin Kedochim tied for top spot with compatriot Paul Margolis on -7. Santarelli and Achard sit one back on -6 while a pack of six lurk on -4, just three off the overnight lead.

Moran could have had an even better day but for a bogey-double start to his back nine only to bounce back with three birdies in a row to undo the damage. Next back sits Paul McBride with the Island golfer carding -1 for his day in a round where he struggled for consistency. Six birdies and five bogeys today for McBride, who could be set for a decent Saturday with some tweaks to his round.

Next up we have Mark Boucher who was considerably more consistent with one birdie and one bogey all day, which was only marred by a double on his ninth, the 18th hole to leave the Carton House man on +2 and with work to do to make Friday’s cut.

Two more men who need to put in a shift on Friday to make the final day are the duo of Brandon St. John and Michael Young. St. John’s day was the textbook ‘’game of two halves’’ today going six over for his opening-nine before clawing his way back with four birdies on his way home to leave himself on +4 and, with a punchers chance of making the last day on Saturday.

St. John had company on +4 for much of the afternoon in the form of Michael Young. A three over opening nine for Young was compounded with a bogey-bogey start to his return leg to see him fall down the order. Young, who turned 27 this week, would battle hard for the rest of his round though, with two welcome birdies on the par-3 sixth and again on the following hole. He would go on to par his way home to sit on +2 heading into Friday after that good late rally.

Young will be first out of the Irish in the morning swing tomorrow. A 9.28AM start off the tee awaits as he sets about his second round in Andorra. St. John is first in the afternoon of the Irish heading out at 13.11, shortly followed by Boucher and McBride all within 45 minutes. Moran meanwhile kicks off his Friday on the 10th tee. He rounds up the Irish contenders heading out at 13.55. All going well, five from five into the final round is very attainable this week.

The co-leaders shared the walk today and the OOM leader Kedochim spoke about the pair’s fine rounds today: “I played with Paul Margolis today, and I’ve played with him in the past, and I must say every time we play together, we play well so playing with him today was fun. Brandon Kewalramani was with us, I never played with him before, but it was a fun round overall for all of us. It’s always enjoyable to play golf while you’re having fun, and good scores are a bonus.”

Kedochim is the current Order of Merit leader, and he commented that he “isn’t focusing on the order of merit, I’m just focusing on playing my own game like every time. I am doing my best each day and putting a good round together. The rest will take care of itself.”  He believes the only real mistake he made today was on the 6th hole where he “3-putted. The other 2 bogeys I made today I guess I can say I deserved them, but I do regret the 3-putt on hole 6 as I hit the green and should’ve two-putted. That’s the only negative aspect of today’s round.”

The leading duo head out from the 10th at 8.55AM as they look to emulate their form from today and try to put daylight between themselves and the chasing pack.

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