Ireland's Portmarnock Golf Club leads early at World Club Championship
Portmarnock Golf Club <br>(Portmarnock Golf Club Photo)
Portmarnock Golf Club
(Portmarnock Golf Club Photo)

AYUTTHAYA, Thailand (December 7, 2016) -- Ireland's Portmarnock Golf Club opened with a 7-under to take the lead after day one of the 12th World Club Championship. On Thursday, after the second day of stroke-play qualifying, Portmarnock will look to hold onto a top-4 spot and punch their ticket for match play. Each team at Ayodhya Links is comprised of the represented courses 2016 club champion and a selected partner from the track.

The Portmarnock duo of Geoff Lenehan and Jack Pierse exploded out of the gates with six birdies against no bogeys on the front nine to turn in 6-under 30. On the back nine they cooled off a bit, but with three more birdies and two bogeys they still put together a 1- under 35 side that allowed them to sign for a 65.

In second place one shot behind at 6-under is British Open rota member Royal St. George's Golf Club. The highlight of the day for the seaside course pairing of Karl Gilbert and Richard Osterdahl was a hole-in-one on the 12th hole. Over the remaining 17-holes Gilbert and Osterdahl rolled in seven birdies and three bogeys.

The highest ranking United States team is third place Los Angeles Country Club, the site of next years Walker Cup. Through 18-holes the course from the city of angels is 5-under following a 67. Representing the club are John Callaghan and Sandy Horacek and the two paired for a bogey-free, five birdie round.

Currently the final spot of the match play bracket is being held by Thai National at 4-under. Playing in their home county Kammalas Namuangruk and Sadom Kaewkanjana put together a bogey-free round with birdies on the 3rd, 8th, 15th and 17th holes.

Overall there are eight other United States in the field:

Baltusrol Golf Club (5th, -3)
---Jeffrey Kiley and Nick Mullen

Riviera Country Club (T6, -2)
---Kaj Vazales and Mike Riedel

Pine Valley Golf Club (T6, -2)
---Gene Elliot and Michael McCoy

The Olympic Club (T6, -2)
---Kory Storer and Randy Haag

Oakmont Country Club (T15, E)
---Brett and Brock Bergman

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (T17, +1)
---Alex Robertson and John Picket III

Merion Golf Club (19th, +3)
---Donald Ashley and John LeBoeuf

Seminole Golf Club (24th, +6)
---John Pinkham and Kelly Miller

ABOUT THE World Club Championship

The club champion and a partner from GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 World Courses List compete at another Top 100 golf course over the course of three days. The first two days feature 18 holes of stroke play qualifying after which the top 4 teams advance to the final day of match play. The event began in 2004 and is held every other year.

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