Friday, 19 March 2010
Julien Clement  (Getty Images)
Julien Clement (Getty Images)

Switzerland’s Julien Clément and Englishman James Morrison share the eight under par lead at the European Challenge Tour’s Piemonte Open.

The Piemonte Open is being played over two courses for its first two rounds – namely the Circolo Golf Torino and the Royal Park Golf and Country Club – with both Clément and Morrison posting the leading score over the Royal Park Golf and Country Club.

The Swiss made just one error in his opening score with a bogey on the 208 yard par three fourth hole, but his rampaging haul of nine birdies was good enough to ensure a share of the lead with Morrison, with Frenchman Jean-Nicolas Billot and England’s Andrew Marshall lying two shots off the pace on six under.

Morrison continued his love affair with Italy to join Clément  on eight under at the top of the leaderboard.

The 23 year old won the Italian Amateur Open Strokeplay title in 2006 and was back on his best Italian form as the Challenge Tour touched down in Italy for the first of three visits to the country to the 2008 Schedule.

“I think there must be something about Italy,” smiled Morrison. “Winning the Italian Amateur was one of the highlights of my amateur career.

“I played well today after bogeying the first. That was quite strange actually – I have posted quite a few low scores in my career by starting with a bogey at the first, so when it happened today I told myself not to get upset and to do what I had done before.

“It’s a bit weird – maybe I should try and start with a bogey on the first every time I play!”

It should come as no surprise if the second round leaderboard takes a completely different shape, given the fact that the top eight players from the first round all played the Royal Park Golf and Country Club, meaning they will face the more daunting Circolo Golf Torino in round two.

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Tournament Leaderboard

PosPlayer NameNatHolePar
1BENSON, SeveENG18-19
2DE SOUSA, RaphaëlSUI18-16
3PETTERSSON, BjörnSWE18-13
4LOCKERBIE, GaryENG18-12
T5MORRISON, JamesENG18-11
T5CABRERA-BELLO, RafaelESP18-11
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