James Sugru Vierumäki leads the Finnish challenge

James Sugrue, pictured above, at the recent Irish Challenge, leading after the opening round in Finland, Credit: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

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Mallow golfer James Sugrue carded a fine seven in an opening round of 65 to set the pace at The Vierumäki Finish Challenge.

The 25-year-old carded six birdies and eagled his final hole to take an outright lead after day one at the Vierumäki resort.

“I drove the ball very well and put it well,” Corkman said. “I think I had eight putts from the back nine so I singled each green and holed out of a bunker, so I didn’t have to use a lot of putter on the front nine!”

Sugru uses borrowed clubs

Like many of his fellow pros in the men’s and women’s games, Sugru’s golf clubs were lost in transit but the Irishman managed to secure a loan set from a former DP World Tour player.

“The clubs are not mine, I lost my clubs when I came here, so I got a set from Mikko Ilonen and they are so nice, I might have to keep them!

“Tomorrow is just the same, I feel really comfortable with that driver, every time I drive it up the tee it feels like it’s going to be a good one. We’ll just see where it takes us.”

Three-way tie for second place

Finland’s Antti Ahokas and Italians Filippo Bergamaschi and Michele Ortolini are in a three-way tie for second after the first round after the trio carded six-under-par rounds of 66.

Ahokas who won twice on the Challenge Tour in 2008 gave the leader board a taste of home before struggling to maintain consistent form for much of the next decade.

“I hadn’t played in front of a crowd for a while, so I was just trying to stay in my own bubble,” he admitted. It was something I enjoyed but at the same time I focused on my own thing, but obviously it gives you energy.

“A lot of people here now, this tournament is a few weeks earlier than usual, people are still on vacation, it’s a warm week. I think we’ll get some more crowds here, which is nice.”

Denmark’s Martin Simonsen, tenth in the Road to Mallorca standings, is the pick of a pack of players a stroke back at five under, while Spaniard Alejandro Del Rey, the highest-ranked player in the field, is in good shape after the opening. Three under 69.

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