Gonzales is back with a bang

A five-week family break in Argentina has catapaulted Ricardo Gonzalez into a spectacular return to the European Tour.

Refreshed by a five-week break with his family in Argentina, big-hitting Ricardo Gonzalez made a spectacular return to the European Tour on Thursday.
Back at the Real Club where he won the 2004 Seville Open, the 40-year-old fired a seven under par 65 that sent him into a one-shot lead over former English amateur champion Paul Waring in Thursday’s first round of the Spanish Open.
“In Spain it feels like home. I like the people, the food, the golf courses,” said Gonzalez, who also captured the Madrid Open seven years ago.
“I’ve come with all the batteries charged and I think I have a chance to have a good tournament.”
The best of his eight birdies came at the 226-yard 17th, his eighth, where he struck a three-iron he described as “The best I have hit in a long time” to get within 10 feet of the flag.
Waring has yet to record a top-five finish since coming through the 2007 qualifying school, but a month ago in Malaga he knocked four strokes off his best round on Tour with a 62.
Something similar was a possibility when the 25-year-old from Birkenhead followed three opening birdies with an eight-foot eagle putt on the long fifth.
But the former disc jockey – house music was his speciality in the clubs and bars of Liverpool – missed out on the top spot by driving into sand and bogeying the 432-yard last.
Waring is happy just to be in Spain this week. The air chaos caused by the volcanic ash cloud left him stuck in the Middle East and he was originally told the first flight out was on May 1.
“We managed to get out on Sunday, though, and then flew here yesterday,” he said, clearly relieved and happy to have made his tee-off on time