irish open friday

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The home favourites failed to shine in the first round of The irish Open at Killarney Golf Club.

Much has been made of Northern Ireland's three Major champions - Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke but it was India's Jeev Milkha Singh who stole the limelight with a sublime 63 - eight under par!

Clarke was the best of the Major champs with a solid 69 and he made a good start today (Friday) to get to three under.

Clarke said after his opening round: "I didn't come here to make up the numbers. I hit a lot of good shots and had lots of chances, but didn't wuite get the speed of the greens."

He received a fantastic reception from the 18,000 fans and he said his walk up the 18th felt like he was walking the 72nd hole with the title in the bag!

McIlroy faded after starting well. He was found under after 10, but bogeyed the 11th and then went in the water on the last on his way to a disappointing double bogey.

McDowell has struggled for form of late and after missing the cut in The Open at Royal St George's was hoping for a better showing. but struggled to a one over 72 and will need to play well today (Friday) if he is to make the cut.

Behind the leader Singh Englishman Simon Wakefield is making a charge. He finished his first round on two under but has got to five under today after just eight holes.

The Irish contingent will need to make a move today but there are plenty of big names at the top of the leaderboard who may take some shifting.