Marc Warren picked up from where he left off on the European Challenge Tour – at the top of the leaderboard at the Rolex Trophy after a brilliant back nine of six under par 30 shot him into lead at the Golf Club de Genéve in Switzerland.
Warren, who won the Ireland Ryder Cup Challenge before an indifferent performance at the dual ranking Cadillac Russian Open, got back in the swing of things with a flawless first round of eight under par 64 to take a two shot lead from Englishman Benn Barham, Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland, South African Michael Kirk and Sweden’s Fredrik Widmark.
By his own high standards Warren looked to be having an average day on the golf course as he reached the turn in two under par 34 before an inspired back nine saw him surge through the field and into a two shot lead.
The 24 year old almost equaled the course record of ten under par 62 with what would have been an astounding back nine of 28, but saw a three foot putt on the 16th lip out and then a putt from around 15 feet on the last green do exactly the same thing.
But the Scotsman was far from disappointed as he signed for 64 and a two shot lead from the four strong group on six under, with Cadillac Russian Open runner-up Andrew Butterfield of England, Ariel Canete and Sebastien Fernandez of Argentina, the English duo of Paul Dwyer and James Heath, Sweden’s Steven Jepessen and Spain’s Carl Suneson all joined together on five under par after opening rounds of 67.
Warren said: “I didn’t feel as though I played that well all day to be honest. I was just keeping it in play on the front nine, birdied the two par fives and missed another chance from about ten feet but then really got the putter going on the back nine.
“That was strange as well because I had only played the front nine in my practice round and didn’t even know what the back nine looked like, but I suppose this game is always easier when you are playing well.
“And it could have been better if I hadn’t lipped out for birdie on the 16th and then the 18th. It’s nice to continue the good form after not playing too great in Russia. I was kind of messing about with my swing over there and was really up and down but I’m hoping it’s coming back to the form that I had in Ireland.”