Robert Rock disqualified from Irish Open in Killarney
FIRST ROUND LEADERBOARD: -7 D Howell (Eng) -6 R Green (Aus), D McGrane (Ire) -5 D Clarke (Nir), P Lawrie (Sco), M Hoey (Eng) -4 R McIlroy (Nir), F Molinari (Ita) D Dixon (Eng) Selected others: -3 P McGinley (Ire), S Khan (Eng), P Broadhurst (Eng) -2 R Fisher (Eng), S Hutsby (Eng), R Bland (Eng), J Parry (Eng), R Coles (Eng), M Foster (Eng) -1 G McDowell (Nir) +3 J Rose (Eng)
Rock was disqualified after mixing up his scores on the 14th and 15th
England's Robert Rock has been disqualified from the Irish Open for making a mistake on his scorecard.
Rock carded a six-under-par 65 in his first round, one stroke behind compatriot David Howell, who tops the leaderboard after a seven-under 64.
But tournament officials found Rock had mixed up his scores on the 14th and 15th holes at the Killarney Golf Club.
Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke shot a five-under 66, while countryman Rory McIlroy is one adrift after a 67.
Ahead of Clarke and McIlroy were Australian Richard Green and Irishman Damien McGrane who were both one stroke behind Howell.
Scotland's former Open champion Paul Lawrie managed to reach six under but bogeyed the last to slip back alongside Clarke.
Former Irish Open winner Padraig Harrington is desperate for points as he is currently outside of the top nine places which would give him automatic qualification for a place on Europe's Ryder Cup team.
Winning the tournament would take the Irishman up to sixth in the standings, however, and the 38-year-old Dubliner is well placed, four shots off the lead after his first round.
Englishman Justin Rose is also outside the automatic spots for Ryder Cup qualification and needs to pick up points but he shot a disappointing three-over 74 in his first round.
Paul McGinley, one of Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie's vice captains, is four off the lead after a first-round 68, a score shared by England's Simon Khan and Paul Broadhurst.
US Open champion Graeme McDowell is six strokes off the lead after his first-round 70.
Clarke's revival in fortunes has prompted speculation he could play his way into Europe's Ryder Cup team.
The 41-year-old was unhappy with his form only a month ago but has since won the JP McManus Pro-Am and finished second in the Scottish Open.
That has put him back in contention for a Ryder Cup recall - even though Montgomerie named him as one of his assistants a week ago - and an invitation to the USPGA Championship in a fortnight has further boosted his hopes.
"That was a great bonus before the tournament started," said Clarke, who did not miss a green in regulation and did not drop a stroke.
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