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
Rory McIlroy bemoans ‘ugly year’ and seeks solution to divide in golf world
The arrival of Saudi-backed LIV Golf series has fractured the game in 2022.
On this day in 2014 – Europe retain Ryder Cup with Gleneagles victory
The Gleneagles victory was Europe’s eighth win in 10 matches.
‘Is this where I am going to die?’ Nicolas Colsaerts on kidney disorder battle
The Belgian is the focus of attention this week as he belatedly defends the Cazoo Open de France title he won three years ago.
On this day in 2008: Ryder Cup misery in Louisville for Nick Faldo’s Europe team
Faldo was heavily criticised for his tactics in the closing singles.
Open champion Cameron Smith wins first LIV trophy in just second start
The world number two is the highest-ranked player to join the rebel series.
Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in play-off to win Italian Open
MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Matt Fitzpatrick holds narrow lead ahead of final round at Italian Open
Rory McIlroy and Aaron Rai are one shot off the pace.
Rory McIlroy picks up the pace to claim lead ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in Rome
McIlroy’s group looked unlikely to complete their second rounds after taking three hours to play nine holes.
Matt Fitzpatrick leads way at Italian Open despite ‘inconsistent’ display
The US Open champion held a one-shot lead over fellow Englishman Tom Lewis,
Rory McIlroy rues a late night until eagle gets him flying in Italian Open
The four-time major winner was only a shot behind leader Matt Fitzpatrick after the first round of the Rome event.