Michael McGeady was tied for fifth as the first round of the Madeira Island Open BPI-Portugal was underway on Porto Santo today, two under after 14 behind Sweden’s Joakim Haeggman in the top spot.
Jonathan Caldwell carded a poor five over for his opening day, returning to the clubhouse tied for 89th. Sharing that spot was Simon Thornton with 14 still to go. Meanwhile Michael Hoey was one over after two holes to share 39th position.
The last of the Irish and still to tee off was Damien McGrane.
Five birdies in six holes from the turn swept Haeggman into the lead. Level par after a front-nine 35, the 39-year-old birdied the 10th and then had four in a row from the 12th to move one ahead of Spain’s Carl Suneson and two in front of former England amateur champion Paul Waring.
Roger Chapman, returning to the circuit for the first time in nearly two and a half years as preparation for his joining the Seniors Tour in May, had to be content with a four-over 75.
Italian Costantino Rocca, now 52 and taking a break from the over-50s circuit, was one over along with 2006 winner Jean Van de Velde.