Rookie Jamieson leads in Spain

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Newcomer Scott Jamieson was the surprise leader after the first round of the Spanish Open in Barcelona.

Newcomer Scott Jamieson was the surprise leader after the first round of the Spanish Open in Barcelona.

The Scotsman, playing in just the 11th European Tour event of his career, grabbed a one-shot lead after an opening six-under-par 66.

Four players lie just one shot back – Frenchman Romain Wattel, Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, India’s Jeev Milkha Singh and England’s Steve Webster.

27-year-old Jamieson, who already has two top-10 finishes to his name since joining the Tour as a Challenge Tour graduate at the start of the year, made eight birdies in his round, and but for bogeys at he 14th and fourth holes, would have had even more to smile about.

A former Augusta State student, Jamieson dreams of one day returning there to play in The Masters.

“We were allowed to play the course once a year and that was thrilling,” he said.

“I didn’t get a wink of sleep the night before the first time I played. In my first three rounds I shot 80 – same as Rory McIlroy last month, of course – and on my fourth I finally had a respectable 74.

“Not to make excuses, we always played in the winter when it was cold and wet.

“You look at the first hole and during The Masters those guys are hitting nine-iron and wedge into the green, but my shortest second shot was a four-iron.

Elsewhere, defending champion Alvaro Quiros opened with a disappointing 74, and already lies eight shots adrift, while fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, trying once again to win his country’s national tournament for the first time in his career, shot a 70 to lie four shots back.

Italy’s teenage sensation Matteo Manassero, returning to professional competition for the first time since winning his second European Tour title at the Malaysian Open in mid-April, had a sluggish start with one-over 73.

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