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Thursday, 29 September 2011
Christophe Brazillier  (EuropeanTour)
Christophe Brazillier (EuropeanTour)

History repeated itself for Frenchman Christophe Brazillier when he fired a superb nine under par 62 to share the first round lead with Germany’s Nicolas Meitinger in the Fred Olsen Challenge de España on the European Challenge Tour.

Precisely seven days ago the 31 year old started the last Challenge Tour event – the Allianz Golf Open Grand Toulouse in exactly the same fashion, a nine under par 62 giving him a three shot lead, before he eventually went on to finish in a tie for 11th place.

This week Brazillier was at it again, nine birdies and no dropped shots seeing him begin the tournament in fine fashion although he had Meitinger for company this time round in pole position at Tecina Golf Club in La Gomera on the Canary Islands.

"I holed a very long putt on the eighth but apart from that, most of my birdies were from pretty close range,” said Brazillier. “I made no mistakes, that was my goal and I made it. My season has been full of ups and down and last week was a good example of that. Hopefully I can keep it going a bit better this week.”

Co-leader Meitinger carded eight birdies and an eagle two on the 265 yard par four ninth hole to give him an excellent start in his quest to win for the second time on Tour this season, having captured the Allianz Challenge de France in May.

The 27 year old from Cologne is currently 33rd on the Challenge Tour Rankings but he is confident of breaking into the all- important top 20 after his lowest round of the season to date.

"It was fun today,” said Meitinger, whose only bogey of the day came on the 11th hole. “I played really, really well. I hit the ball very close and gave myself many chances for birdie.

“Today my long game was really good. The irons to the flag were almost perfect and my game is really good. This is my second time here, I came here two years ago and liked it a lot but did not have a great tournament, finishing 25th.”

“This week I am looking to improve on that and get into the top 20 on the Order of Merit and I really need a good finish. I think I am ready for that".

Three players shared second place after posting respective eight under par 63 on a superb day for scoring; Spain’s Alfredo Garcia-Heredia and the English duo of Lloyd Kennedy and Matthew Baldwin, who finished in a tie for third place in Toulouse last weekend.

Like Meitinger, home favourite García-Heredia also carded an eagle in his round, a three on the par five 17th, which proved the highlight of an explosive opening round which contained seven birdies and just a single bogey on the eighth.

The 29 year old, who is battling to save his card on The European Tour having graduated from Qualifying School, finished runner up in the tournament in 2008, the same year he finished tied fourth in the Open de España.

"The eagle was great but the rest of my round was the consequence of a good long game and shots to the pin,” he said. “I was always very close to the pin. I played very solid, hit 17 greens and it was a really good round.”

García-Heredia, who hails from Gijon, has also been taking advantage of the Canary Island’s surroundings.

“After playing I go fishing every day,” he said. “Yesterday I caught a sea bass, then took it to the hotel and they cooked it for me. It was delicious. I travel with all the materials. I put the fishing rod in my golf bag, and also get the reel and the tackles. I have travelled with all that since Austria last week. I wish I could fish at all tournaments.”

Alongside the Spaniard, Kennedy posted three birdies in a row from the third hole then eagled the seventh hole before another hat-trick of birdies from the 15th for his 63 while Baldwin had an eagle two at the ninth, eight birdies and two bogeys in a rollercoaster effort.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1BALDWIN, MatthewENG18-21
2GUERRIER, JulienFRA18-21
T3RELECOM, PierreBEL18-20
T3TADINI, AlessandroITA18-20
T3KENNEDY, LloydENG18-20
6LLOYD, ChrisENG18-19
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