Spaniard Javi Colomo fired a four under par 67 to set the early pace in the first round of the Mugello Tuscany Open in Italy.
Colomo, playing in his first European Challenge Tour event of the season, started on the tenth tee at UNA Poggio dei Medici Golf Club and posted four birdies on his front nine to reach the turn in 31.
He picked up another birdie on the first hole - his tenth – before his first bogey of the day on the fourth. The 26 year old added another birdie on the seventh but bogeyed the last when his putt ran off the green.
Colomo, who won the Spanish PGA Championship last year, said his confidence with the putter was the key to his round, as he took a one stroke lead over Portugal’s Ricardo Santos and Austrian Roland Steiner.
“I played very well and I was confident with the putter today,” said Colomo. “I was relaxed all the way round which is something that I have been working on with my psychologist.
“It was quite difficult out there with the wind on some holes, especially on my second nine. I actually putted off the green on the last hole.
“I’ve played the three Spanish events on The European Tour so far this season but this is my first Challenge Tour event so it is a good start. I’ve got a good category after reaching the Qualifying School Final Stage so I can choose my events so I missed the long travel to Colombia and Kenya.
“Last season I didn’t play too well – I only had two good results – but I’ve been working on my confidence. We are all good players here so a lot of it is mental and I’m trying to be more confident in myself.”
Santos had led for most of the morning after a stunning six under par opening nine of 30 but came back in 38 shots, while Steiner posted six birdies but also dropped three shots to sign for his three under par 68.
Steiner’s compatriot Bernd Weisberger and Scotland’s former Ryder Cup player Andrew Coltart are a further shot back after rounds of 69.
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