Kjeldsen and Lawrie in front
Scot Paul Lawrie and defending champion Soren Kjeldsen shared the lead after the 1st round of the Andalucian Open.
Former Open champion Paul Lawrieof Scotland and defending champion Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark shared the lead after Thursday’s first round of the Andalucian Open in Malaga.
The pair shot five under par 65s at the Parador club to be a stroke ahead of seven players – England’s Phillip Archer, Welshman Bradley Dredge, New Zealander Mark Brown, Dutchman Joost Luiten, Spaniard Ignacio Garrido, Argentina’s Daniel Vancsik and France’s former British amateur champion Julien Guerrier.
It might be for only a couple more weeks, but for the time being Lawrie remains Britain’s last winner of a major title.
Eleven years on from his amazing victory at Carnoustie – that was the day Jean Van de Velde closed with a triple bogey seven afterv leading by three shots on the 18th tee – the 41-year-old Scot finds himself 235th in the world.
His last victory was in 2002, but Lawrie still believes he can hit the heights again and recently decided to link up again with former coach Adam Hunter.
That meant leaving Bob Torrance, coach to three-time major champion Padraig Harrington, but Lawrie said: “I gave Bob a ring and he was great.
“I learnt a lot – you do from every coach – but I didn’t think I was getting enough out of it for the time it took to see him.”
He lives in Aberdeen and Torrance in Ayrshire and it meant a seven-hour round trip.
Hunter, a former Tour winner himself, has recently been diagnosed with leukaemia and Lawrie commented: “He’s doing all right. It’s been a terrible time, but he’s out of hospital now, so fingers crossed; he’s on the road to recovery.”
Not having played a Tour event for six weeks, Lawrie has kept himself busy at home and on a recent trip to Spain and so did not feel he had any rust to remove on his return.
He turned in a one under 35 and then, like Kjeldsen later in the day, birdied the first three holes en route to a four under front nine of 30.
Kjeldsen, who won the title in Seville last year, had what he described it as “a dream start” of three 20-footers in a row.
The 34-year-old Dane, 51st in the world, has a second appearance at The Masters to look forward to in two weeks, but he has had another matter on his mind recently.
He has been in dispute with a former manager over what he calls “a large sum of money – two to three years of sponsorship” and it could become the subject of a police investigation soon.
South African Louis Oosthuizen and Swede Alexander Noren still have a chance of making it to Augusta by winning this week – they need to move into the world’s top 50 – and they began with rounds of 67 and 69 respectively.
England’s Nick Dougherty, who recently became engaged to Sky Sports television presenter (and Jonny Wilkinson’s former girlfriend) Di Stewart, managed only a two over 72.
Welshman Rhys Davies, winner of his first Tour title in Morocco on Sunday, had a level par 70, the same as Darren Clarke.
US Open day two: Patrick Reed grinds out narrow lead as Winged Foot bares teeth
Winged Foot kicked back hard on day two of the US Open as Patrick Reed ground out a narrow halfway lead in pursuit of his second major title.After an opening day in which 21 players broke par, just three defied breezy conditions to do so on Friday as Tiger Woods missed the cut on 10 over par following a 77 and Rory McIlroy slid down the leaderboard with a 76.Former Masters champion Reed added a 70 to his opening 66 to finish four under par and a shot ahead of fellow American Bryson DeChambeau, whose 68 was the lowest score of the day.Overnight leader Justin Thomas recovered from five over…
Bryson DeChambeau relishing tough conditions as he moves into US Open contention
The American shot a second-round 68 to sit on three under par at the halfway stage.
Bryson DeChambeau hails ‘impeccable’ iron play that puts him in the US Open mix
DeChambeau’s physical transformation was one of the main talking points when golf returned to action following the coronavirus shutdown.
Closing eagle gives Bryson DeChambeau clubhouse lead at US Open
On three under par, the big-hitting American held a one-shot lead over Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Lee Westwood struggles in tough second round conditions at US Open
Belgium’s Thomas Pieters had earlier made a flying start to move into the outright lead.
Lee Westwood on strong US Open start: ‘This course is gettable if you hit the fairways’
Lee Westwood reflects on his impressive opening round at the 120th US Open.
US Open day one: Rory McIlroy off to fast start as Justin Thomas takes the lead
McIlroy shot an opening round three-under 67 while Thomas carded a five-under 65.
Rory McIlroy flying high after opening round of US Open at Winged Foot
The Northern Irishman is two shots behind leader Justin Thomas, who shot a five-under-par 65 at Winged Foot.
A little more relaxation brings a little more action for Rory McIlroy at US Open
The Northern Irishman shot 67 on the opening day to sit two behind clubhouse leader Justin Thomas.