Argentina’s Julio Zapata leads the OKI Mahou Challenge de Espana by one stroke from Finland’s Antti Ahokas, after the first round was completed early on Friday morning.
Storms struck at the Campo de Layos Golf Course on Thursday afternoon, resulting in suspension of play for two hours, and, upon resumption later in the day, bad light then stopped play at 8.25pm.
Zapata, on six under par, returned early this morning to finish his eight under par 64, to move ahead of Ahokas, who picked up nine birdies and an eagle, as well as also throwing in a triple bogey and a bogey, yesterday.
England’s Ian Keeney and Ireland’s Colm Moriarty are on six under par after recording 66. England’s Robert Dinwiddie, Spain’s Carlos Quevedo and Carlos Del Moral, and French duo François Calmels and François Delamontagne, are all on five under par after shooting 67.
Dinwiddie is chasing a third Challenge Tour victory of the season to earn instant promotion to The European Tour.
“It would be great to win the third one,” said Dinwiddie, winner of back-to-back titles last month with victories in the Scottish Challenge presented by Bank of Scotland Corporate and the Rolex Trophy. “I just have to keep playing like this and see what happens. It’s a great start and we’ll see tomorrow.
“I played quite well all the way around and I putted very well. I changed my putter a couple of months ago, and it made the difference. I was playing well but not putting well, and now I am, so it gets the pressure out and I’m enjoying it a lot more.”
Ahokas said: “It was a weird round, I started with two easy birdies on the tenth and 12th, and then I don’t know what happened on 13th hole. I hit a bad Driver and with the third shot I plugged it in bunker, got really upset and made a triple bogey. I’m glad I was able to get everything back together.”
Ahokas regrouped with birdies on the 14th and 16th before eagling the 17th, hitting an eight iron approach to three metres and holing the putt. Another five birdies on the front nine took him to eight under par before he dropped a shot on the final hole.