Cunning Canizares in the lead
Alejandro Canizares fired an amazing 11 birdies to take a one-stroke lead after the first day of the European Tour’s Trophy Hassan II in Morocco on Thursday.
The Spaniard made easy work of the windy conditions at the Golf du Palais Royal course in Agadir and recorded his lowest round of his European Tour career.
His ten under 62 included six birdies on the back nine. The only blemish on Canizares’ scorecard was the bogey on the par four third.
“It was one of those days for me, my swing felt great, I started putting well and the putts went in,” said the 31-year-old.
“After today the confidence is great but it wasn’t there for the last month. After Dubai I started losing a little bit of form but this game is up and down so you can’t expect the best all the time.
“I was lucky that after a couple of sessions with my coach and a putting session with Phil Kenyon this week it’s started getting a lot easier so I am very happy to perform well this week.
“It was a lot of fun, when golf is like this it’s easy. I missed a couple of drives and from the fairway I missed one shot that cost me a bogey, but that was about it,” concluded Canizares, whose only European Tour win came back in 2006 at the Imperial Collection Russia Open.
Meanwhile, England’s Seve Benson carded a nine under 63 on the blustery course. The Englishman is alone in second place on the leader board.
“It was so windy out there on the back nine, but I just managed to play the tough holes well and sink some putts,” said Benson, who is named after the late golfing legend Seve Ballesteros.
“Capitalizing on my chances is the big thing for me. I have been working really hard with my putting coach and it paid off today.”
America’s Conner Ardenell and Swede Magnus Carlson both shot seven under 65’s to share third place after round one.
“It’s huge, coming over here getting that experience, the traveling; week to week the courses vary quite a bit compared to the U.S.,” said Arendell, who is playing his first season on the European Tour after qualifying in November.
“It’s tough, but over time it will make it that much easier when I’m in the U.S.”
I want to fulfil my dreams – Adam Scott in no mood to lower expectations
Scott is seeking a third Australian PGA Championship title this week in his native Queensland.
Nicolas Colsaerts named a vice-captain for Europe’s Ryder Cup team
The Belgian joins Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari on Luke Donald’s staff.
Ireland’s Ancient East: Golf attractions alongside stunning beauty of Kildare
Ireland has a rich mix of tourist attractions across its varied and beautiful terrain.
Rory McIlroy crowned top golfer in Europe despite Jon Rahm claiming Dubai title
The Spaniard’s two-shot victory over England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden’s Alex Noren was his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Leona Maguire shoots day’s best to tie Lydia Ko in chasing LPGA’s largest prize
Maguire is chasing her second title while Ko is close to claiming her second straight LPGA Tour player of the year.
Rory McIlroy edges ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in race to be European number one
McIlroy’s third round of 65 at the DP World Tour Championship put him back ahead of his rival in the rankings.
Lydia Ko firms lead for biggest prize in women’s golf history at LPGA finale
The 25-year-old turned a one-shot lead into a five-shot edge as she chased down the two-million-dollar (£1.6million) prize.
Matt Fitzpatrick leading race to become European number one
Rory McIlroy gave the Yorkshireman something to think about with a late blitz.
Lydia Ko in the lead for largest prize in women’s golf history at LPGA finale
The 25-year-old finished seven-under 65 in her bid to win the two-million-dollar (£1.6million) prize.
Matt Fitzpatrick moves into pole position to become European number one
Fitzpatrick is now projected to finish top of the DP World Tour rankings for the first time.