Kingston makes hay before the wind
James Kingston has capitalised on the best of Thursday’s conditions to take the first round lead in Majorca.
South African James Kingston capitalised on the best of the conditions on Thursday to take the first round lead at the European Tour’s Iberdrola Open Cala Millor Mallorca.
Out on the Pula course early before the wind really picked up, the 44-year-old returned a five under par 65 to end the day two in front of Spaniard Alvaro Velasco.
Ireland’s Gary Murphy, Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin, Spain’s Alejandro Canizares and Norwegian Thorbjorn Olesen are a further shot back back in joint third place.
The two-time Tour winner said: “I didn’t have a nice day out there yesterday and it’s not one of my favourites, but I was hitting it so well that it was actually an easy round of 65.
“It’s a tricky course, even without a wind, but when you play nicely you can see the scores.”
Kingston, who birdied three of his last six holes as things became more blustery, is only recently back from a seven-week break during which he visited Zambia and Mozambique with friends and family.
Velasco lost his Tour card last season and did not even make the 72-hole cut at the qualifying school in November.
His ranking on the Spanish order of merit earned him his place in the tournament and he came home in 32 with birdies at the first, fourth and sixth.
Murphy was another back at the school and, although the 37-year-old from Kilkenny made it through, he has since managed to survive only two cuts in 10 starts.
“I’ve been struggling with the groove change,” he said.
“I’m on my fifth set of irons, but have finally got some I feel are doing what they should do.”
He was four under after seven, gave all the shots back, but then birdied the seventh and eighth to climb back into a tie for third.
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.