Friday November 07 2008

PAUL McGINLEY'S bid to keep the Hassan II Golf Trophy in Irish hands got off to a flying start yesterday as he swept to the top of the leaderboard with a faultless first-round 67 at Royal Dar Es Salam in Rabat.

McGinley, who had an eagle and five birdies on his card as he established a one-stroke lead over England's Simon Dyson, is hoping to follow last year's winner, fellow Dub Padraig Harrington, into the winner's enclosure in Morocco.

Johan Edfors of Sweden and England's Mark Foster both shot 68 to share third place, while South African Ernie Els was one back in a tie for fifth. Ulsterman Michael Hoey was tied 21st with Carl Sunnesson in the 24-man field after opening with a 74.