Carlos Del Moral moved into the lead at the Tusker Kenya Open after an opening five under par 65 and then declared his wish to join the next generation of Spanish talent on The European Tour.
The Spaniard leads Sweden’s Klas Eriksson and Englishman Oliver Whiteley by two at the Karen Golf Club on the outskirts of Nairobi, with a further five players – including 2007 Club Colombia Masters champion Edoardo Molinari of Italy – on two under after the first round.
Del Moral, who won the Texbond Open last year on his first full season on the Challenge Tour, is hoping to join the likes of Rafael Cabrera Bello, Alejandro Cañizares, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, Juan Parron and Alvaro Quiros on The European Tour by winning his card through the Challenge Tour Rankings.
Of those five players, Cañizares, Fernandez-Castaño and Quiros have already won on The European Tour, signalling a new era and a promising future for Spanish golf.
Thanks to the excellent coaching system employed by the Real Federacion Española de Golf, most of those players have grown playing together and, as a result, have fostered a wonderfully competitive environment in which most them have excelled to become top class golfers.
Del Moral would dearly love to take the next step in his career and join his compatriots at European golf’s highest level, so he was delighted to take the lead in Kenya, where he made eight birdies and dropped three strokes in what was an eventful opening score.
“My round was a bit crazy today,” he said. “To make eight birdies around this course you have to have a bit of luck, and I had that because I chipped in twice today but I made a lot of good putts and I am very pleased to be leading.
“The course is tough here – if you hit your tee shots into the rough you are looking at double bogey on some holes.
“Hopefully I can be up there on Sunday with a chance of winning. That’s what I am aiming for this season – to get myself into good positions and then go for it because I am an ‘all or nothing’ kind of player.
“I’d love to join the other Spanish guys on the main Tour. They are all doing so well but we knew that this was going to happen because the Spanish federation do such a great job with their young players.
“We all grew up together and when you have so many good players competing against each other and trying to better each other then things are going to be healthy for the future.”