McGowan in charge in Spain
Ross McGowan shot a very welcome 64 in the Castello Masters on Thursday to lead by two shots after the first round.
England’s Ross McGowan shot a very welcome 64 in the Castello Masters on Thursday, giving him a two-shot lead after the first round.
The 29-year-old has had a lackluster year so far, one that has seen him drop from 63rd in the world all the way down to 543rd.
Currently 163rd on the Race to Dubai money list, McGowan needs a strong finish to his season if he’s to keep his European Tour card for next year, and in light of his struggles, his seven-under-par 64 at the Club de Campo del Mediterráneo in Castellón today was just what the doctor ordered.
McGowan made an eagle on the 503-yard par-four 17th after holing a beautiful four-iron approach shot, and added five more birdies to that in a faultless display.
He leads Italian Fabrizio Zanotti and another Englishman, Richard McEvoy, by two shots, after the duo both carded first-round 66s.
As good a start as it is, McGowan will be wary of the fact that he opened with a 64 at the Madrid Masters two weeks ago to lead there as well, but gradually fell away, eventually finishing in 42nd place.
“It’s nice to be playing well again and up in contention,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’m not really thinking about the ‘Race to Dubai’ at the moment. I’m just trying to play each shot at a time and put up a good result at the end of the week.”
Of the eagle he said: “I wasn’t sure it had gone in. I heard one clap, got up there and found it in the hole.”
A large group of seven players are on four under, three back, after rounds of 67 – George Coetzee, Anthony Wall, Michael Hoey, Thongchai Jaidee, Danny Willett, Gary Orr and Sergio Garcia, who was clearly enjoying playing at his home club.
Garcia was only one over at the turn, but caught alight coming home on the front nine to record a five-under 31 with birdies at the second, fourth, fifth, seventh and ninth holes.
“It was a slow start, but the par putt on one (his 10th hole) was huge and then I got going,” said the Spaniard.
Garcia was playing alongside exciting youngsters Matteo Manassero and Tom Lewis, who both began their challenges solidly enough on Thursday.
Manassero, the defending champion, started superbly with four successive birdies straight out of the gates, but slipped up on the sixth hole for a nasty double bogey. He eventually carded a two-under 69.
Lewis, who stunningly captured the Portugal Masters in only his third professional start on Sunday, played Thursday’s first round feeling somewhat under the weather because of a virus. He had to be content with a level-par 71.
Tiger Woods to partner son Charlie in next month’s PNC Championship
Woods has not played since the Open Championship in July.
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.