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Thursday, 21 August 2003
Martin Erlandsson set a new course record at the Golf Club de Geneve – firing an outstanding ten under par 62 that included two eagle threes and gave him three stroke lead after day one of the Rolex Trophy.

The Swede played flawlessly in perfect conditions at the venue with views over Lake Geneva, carding two eagles and six birdies over the par 72, 6875 yard venue to beat the previous record of 63 that was set by Gary Birch Jnr last season.

Erlandsson, who is fifth on the European Challenge Tour Rankings with €58,554, chipped in from the bunker for his second eagle of the day and admitted that the Rolex Trophy – which is played in a Pro-Am format on each of the four days of competition – is a welcome and relaxing change from the rigours of regular tournament play.

“It was one of those days out there today,” said Erlandsson with a smile. “I played very well today and managed not to drop any shots as well as having two eagles.

“My first eagle came at the 13th because I started at the tenth tee today. I sank a nice 25 foot putt and then at the fifth I chipped in from the greenside bunker. But the conditions were perfect today – there was no wind or anything, it was a great day to play and I enjoyed the Pro- Am format as well.

“Things were nice and relaxed and although there is a lot more talking than in usual tournaments, the amateur players were very professional in their approach to everything.”

Erlandsson leads by three from his countryman Peter Gustafsson, whose 65 gives him outright second place – one clear of Frenchman Gregory Bourdy, Argentinian Sebastian Fernandez, another Swede – Michael Jonzon – and Marc Pendaries from France.

Gustafsson relied on his trusty putting stroke to get to seven under, and predicted that the scoring will once again be extremely low this weekend – if only because he is playing well! Every time the 25 year old has run into some great form over the summer, the winning scores have been exceptional.

At the Open des Volcans Challenge de France, Gustafsson was tied third on 11 under – four shots behind Ivo Giner. He managed a fantastic total of 17 under at the Kitzbühel Golf Alpin Open but was still six shots behind the winner, David J. Geall. Then he could only smile when he discovered his 19 under score at the Terme Euganee Golf Club Padova International Open was ten shots behind the record 72 hole score of Giner.

“I played alright today, the main thing today was my putting,” said Gustafsson. “I only had 27 putts and even though I’m not striking the ball that well, I am confident on the greens and that always gives you a chance to make birdies.

“The conditions today were perfect for golf. If it stays like this the score are going to be low again this week. I’d say anything between 20 and 25 under par could win here. That seems to happen every time I play well – I just wish I could hit low scores when everyone else is having a bad week!”

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