Scott Dunlap of America heads the European Challenge Tour field after round one of the Stanbic Zambia Open at the Lusaka Golf Club, Zambia.
This time four years ago, Dunlap was on his way to a third place finish at The Players Championship. The 39 year old won over $1million dollars on the PGA Tour in 2000, and began the Stanbic Zambia Open with the kind of golf that brought him fame and fortune in his homeland.
His seven under par 66 round the Lusaka Golf Club was beautifully constructed in perfect conditions, picking up seven birdies and giving nothing back to the tricky, par 73 terrain.
Dunlap picked up a shot on the third and then chipped in at the ninth for another birdie to really get his round going on the back nine.
“It was a real tough chip as well,” said Dunlap. “It was one of those lies that I could easily have taken three to get down from and that would have meant going to the turn in level par. But I holed it and turned in two under – that got me going for the back nine.”
Dunlap has just finished 30th on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa and would be delighted to join the Challenge Tour on a regular basis as he has never fully experienced European golf.
“I would love the chance to play more in Europe,” he continued. “I have toured Britain quite a lot over the years, but I have limited experience of playing golf in mainland Europe, which is something I’d like to try.
“I have a conditional membership with the Nationwide Tour in the States, but I would definitely play on the Challenge Tour if I could do enough to gain full Membership.
Another three rounds of 66 at the Stanbic Zambia Open would probably earn Dunlap full, Category One Membership to the Challenge Tour as a tournament winner.
He leads South African Andre Cruse by one shot after the opening 18 holes, with Michael Kirk and Titch Moore of South Africa a further shot behind.
Kirk is no stranger to finding his best form at the Lusaka Golf Club, following his second place finish behind eventual Challenge Tour champion for 2003, Johan Edfors, last year.