Argentina's Andres Romero launched his defence of the Abierto del Litoral Personal with sensational opening 63, seven under par, to establish a two stroke lead in the first event of the 2008 Challenge Tour season.
European Tour player Romero, winner of the Deutsche Bank Players' Championship of Europe in July, started of the tenth tee at the Rosario Golf Club in Argentina and carded eight birdies and only one bogey at the second hole to establish a two stroke lead over the USA’s Ryan Carter at the US $170,000 championship promoted by Golfstar and co-sanctioned by the Tour de las Americas, the European Challenge Tour and the TPG of Argentina.
Argentina’s Francisco Ojeda, Fabián and Rafael Gómez, Chile’s Mark Tullo and the leading European Mark Haastrup of Denmark trail the leader by three in a five-way tie for third after rounds of 66.
“I played very well, very consistent golf. It hit the driver nicely, but the main factor was my execution on the greens,” commented Romero, who needed only 24 putts on the first day of the event presented by Terminal Puerto Rosario, Visa & Nuevo Banco de Santa Fe.
While the young Romero was all smiles in the morning, his countryman and tournament favourite Angel Cabrera faced a troubled afternoon. The 2007 US Open Champion got off to a slow start of bogeys on the first and third. Another bogey at the 11th took him to three over for the day, and although he carded three birdies on the way home a double-bogey at the par-four 17th cost him an unexpected two over par 72 start.
“My ball striking was poor,” admitted Cabrera. “The course may have been tough, but anytime you miss this game is a lot more complicated.”
With a total of 156 players from 23 nations in action, the 73rd Abierto del Litoral Personal is the penultimate event on the 2007 Tour de las Americas’ schedule and opening event of the 2008 Challenge Tour season.