Doherty bounces back for three-way tie

MISSING the cut in your previous two events is not the best preparation for the biggest English championship of the season. But it didn’t cause Bury’s Ciaran Doherty any problems as he shared top spot with Cornwall’s Tom Fox and Norway’s Sebastian Mork Andersen after the first round of the Brabazon Trophy.

CIARAN DOHERTY

CIARAN DOHERTY

The trio returned five-under-par 68s around the testing Seaton Carew course which leaves them a shot clear of the field on a day of somewhat benign conditions on the Durham coast when 44 players bettered the par of 73.

Lancashire player Doherty and Fox had seven birdies on their cards to upstage a field of internationals while for  Doherty it helped erase the memory of missed cuts at the St Andrews Links and Berkshire Trophies.

While many players used their drivers sparingly, opting for a long iron off many tees, Doherty whipped his driver from the bag on most holes; “it makes the course a lot shorter,” he quipped. “Of all the clubs in my bag it’s the one I hit the straightest,” added the 24 year old from.

“I had a good start with birdies at the first two holes and I also birdied the fourth to be out in 31.” Although he dropped a shot at the tenth, one of just two bogeys, further birdies came at the 11th, 12th and 18th while his tally could have been even greater but for three-putts at the 13th and 14th for pars.

“It’s my first time at Seaton Carew but we play a lot of links courses in Lancashire so I’m at home here,” he added.

Fox, 23, the deputy golf manager at China Fleet in Saltash, was making his Brabazon debut and visiting Seaton Carew for the first time. Despite being one over par through the first three holes, the South West stroke play champion said: “I don’t think I missed a fairway. My approach play was good, I knocked it close and had a lot of tap-ins. Long may it continue.”

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