Friday, 19 March 2010
Americans David Oakley and Ray Carrasco share the first round lead at the Senior British Open, presented by MasterCard, at Royal Portrush after rounds of 70, two under par.

The pair lead by one from England's John Morgan, winner of his last two events in Ireland, and former Ryder Cup players Antonio Garrido from Spain and England's Guy Hunt.

Oakley, runner up here in 1996 behind Brian Barnes, picked up three birdies and an eagle on the par five ninth after taking advantage of the calmer afternoon conditions. But two dropped shots in the last four holes saw the former furniture store manager slip back towards the pack.

Carrasco, a graduate from the Seniors Tour Qualifying School, made a flying start with three successive birdies from the second. His charge was briefly halted with a bogey on the fifth but two more birdies on the front nine took him out in 32. After two bogeys on the homeward stretch left him in a share of the lead.

New Zealand's Bob Charles, the only left hander to have ever won the Open and twice a previous winner of the Senior British Open, shot a level par 72 at the age of 63. Pre-Championship favourite Christy O'Connor Jnr shot a 76 after picking up two birdies in the last three holes while Brian Huggett started his defence of the title with a two over 74 thanks to an eagle two on the 15th. Gary Player also shot a 74 but Brian Barnes and Bernard Gallacher both struggled in the testing morning conditions with rounds of 77 and 76 respectively.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1O'CONNOR JNR, ChristyIRL18-6
2BLAND, JohnRSA18-3
3PLAYER, GaryRSA18-2
4MORGAN, JohnENG18-1
5GALLACHER, BernardSCO188
T6BARNES, BrianSCO1811
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