A sensational 50 foot eagle putt landed Scotland’s Andrew McArthur the lead at the POSTBANK Challenge presented by Marcel Siem.
The 28 year old’s brilliant eagle effort ensured an opening score of seven under par 64 at the Golfclub Mulheim an der Ruhr and a one stroke lead over Frenchman Jean-Nicolas Billot and Argentina’s Rafael Gomez after both men posted opening scores of 65.
Chile’s Felipe Aguilar, the highest Ranked player in the field at fourth place on the Rankings, leads a six strong group of players on five under, with another six men well positioned on four under.
McArthur, currently 21st on the Challenge Tour Rankings after three top ten finishes in his last seven events, is hoping to secure the maiden Challenge Tour victory that would take him to the cusp of a place on The 2008 European Tour as one of the top 20 players on the end of season Rankings.
“It’s always a good day when you hole a 50 foot putt on the last for eagle!” smiled the Scotsman after signing for a 64.
“I thought that the ball was going to finish just short of the hole and was shaking my head in disbelief when it dropped in at the last moment.
“I have been playing well for the last couple of months now. I am hoping that missing the cut last week was just a blip and after today’s round, it feels that way.
“I am feeling confident just now and that I am ready to win. I have been close but I seem to throw in an inopportune 72 or 73 in the weeks that I am playing well and that has been holding me back. I just have to eliminate that and I will be very close to getting my first win.”
McArthur finished 27th on the Rankings in his rookie season as a professional last season, and is hopeful that the experience he gained in 2006 can stand him in good stead for the nerve-wracking final stretch of the season.
He said: “I am close to the top 20 but you cannot afford to think about your position on the Rankings. I got obsessive about that last year and my form just disappeared. I was playing too much and trying to defend my position and I ended up missing out on my card.
“But hopefully I have learned my lesson from that and can use that experience. I am taking the next two weeks off after this week to get some rest and then I can come back for the rest of the season and hopefully finish it off by getting a Tour card. That’s the plan anyway.”
Patrick Niederdrenk, the 24 year old who has won twice on the Satellite EPD Tour, is the leading German player in the field, among the six men on four under par 67.