The English duo of Phillip Archer and Mathew Morris lead the Nykredit Danish Open after opening rounds of four under par 67 at the demanding Esbjerg Golfklub gave them a one shot lead over a five strong group of players on three under par.
Archer revealed how a new state of the art swing analysis machine helped him surge into a joint lead with Morris. The 32 year old travelled from his home in Warrington to the Belfry last week, where his coach, Mike Pearson, hooked him up to the revolutionary £300,000 piece of equipment to review every single movement of his golf swing.
The results allowed Archer to make the necessary adjustments in his technique, and helped him fire a bogey free opening round of four under par 67 over the 6945 yard, par 71, Esbjerg Golfklub to join Morris at the top of the leaderboard.
“It is a fantastic piece of technology that analyses just about every single movement in your swing, so you can see even the smallest of problems when you watch the video of your swing,” said Archer after signing for 67.
“It certainly helped me solve a few problems I was having – even if I did have to dress up in a lycra suit to get my swing analysed!
“I didn’t drop a single shot in my round which was very satisfying when you consider how tough the course is. I really got going on the sixth when I holed a 40 foot putt for birdie, then holed from 10 feet on the next to save par. I just hope that I can keep it going for four rounds because that has been something of a problem for me this season.”
Morris, on his debut season on the Challenge Tour went to the turn in two under par 33 after three birdies and a single dropped shot, before picking up a further two shots on the back nine for 67.
“I’m really happy with that because I have really struggled with my game so far this season and am finally beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
“I have missed every cut but one in the tournaments that I have played in this year because I have been playing so badly. But I made some big changes in my game recently – most importantly I have changed my coach, and I am feeling the benefits of that.
“This is my first year on the Challenge Tour and I have found it very tough. The travelling is a real eye opener and the expense of playing on a Tour that travels all over the world really adds pressure to the game.
“But I am really glad to have joined the Challenge Tour – it is a great stepping stone towards The European Tour, which is where every player out here wants to be.”
The English pair lead by one from their fellow countryman Gary Emerson, the Swedish duo of Fredrik Henge and Christian Nilsson, Denmark’s Thomas Norret, Marco Ruiz of Paraguay and Italy’s Alessandro Tadini – already a winner on the 2004 Challenge Tour Schedule following his victory in the Costa Rica Open.
Norret was particularly pleased with his opening round, as it signalled his returned to top level golf after taking a break from the game to spend more time with his wife and two young sons.
The Dane may have been a little rusty on his return, as the four bogeys on his card suggest - but he also showed he has lost none of his fantastic ability as he picked up seven birdies en route to an opening 68.
“I was a little bit rusty out there, but really enjoyed myself,” said Norret. “I made seven birdies and four bogeys so you could say that I had an eventful day!
“I have not played that much this season – just some local events here in Denmark, so I was pleased to find that I could still play at this level. I was really quite steady out there and was trying to keep things as simple as possible.
“Ok, I made a few silly mistakes, but I think that can only be expected given that I have not played too much golf this year. I just wanted to take some time away from the game and spend more time at home with my wife and two sons, and I am happy that I did that.”