Thursday, 19 September 2013
Knut Borsheim (Phil Inglis) ()
Knut Borsheim (Phil Inglis) ()
Knut Borsheim put his knowledge of Nurtau Golf Club to good use as the Norwegian got off to a strong start in the opening round of the Kazakhstan Open, carding a four under par 68 to finish the day five shots behind leader Jeppe Huldahl.

The 26 year old was beaten to this title by Tommy Fleetwood in 2011, but only just, and he picked up at Nurtau Golf Club from where he left off two years ago as he picked up his first shot at the par five second hole.

Two more birdies either side of a bogey at the seventh meant he reached the turn in two under on the penal lay-out in Almaty, before he rolled in a 45-foot putt at the tenth for eagle.

The shot he gained at the par five 13th was unfortunately cancelled out by a bogey at the 15th but Borsheim was more than happy with his opening round as he hopes to better his near miss the last time he visited Nurtau.

“It fits my game a bit more here,” said the Bergen native. “I can get it out of this rough so I can bomb it up from off the tee as much as I can. I didn’t hole too many putts today but the pins were really tough. I felt like it was all 20 footers or 15 footers with a lot of break so you were happy to just give them a good roll.

“I played really solid, hit a lot of greens and did well on the par fives apart from the 17th, where I unfortunately made a par.

“One of my bogeys was with a wedge in my hand in the middle of the fairway too so I played well in general.

“Maybe if I could get some of those putts to drop I would be doing well because I'm putting really well. There are so many breaks though, you can’t really expect to make many of those. 

“I made a really long one at the 10th for eagle though, after a five wood down the middle and a nice five iron up. It was just a little short in front of the green, but I rolled in one big one so that was pretty nice.”

Borsheim thinks familiarity will breed contentment this week, especially given the fact that he has very rarely played the same venue twice in the past two years, playing one season on the Challenge Tour in 2011 before graduating to The European Tour for the 2012 campaign.

“I have good memories of this course and it’s very visual,” he said. “You have to play good golf and if you do that you’ll score, but if you start to hit bad shots you’ll be in trouble right away.

“With the pins, when I see them I'm just thinking, ‘I’m so happy I'm here right now and not over there in the rough’! 

“I haven’t played many tournaments where I've played the course before, because I was on Challenge Tour in 2011 for the first time and then played last year on The European Tour, so it’s nice to be on a course that I actually know.

“It helps, because I know the lines and it makes me more comfortable. You don’t have to think as much and you are more relaxed. Hopefully I can continue like this and the weather can stay this good.”

Jeppe Huldahl, meanwhile, carded a spectacular course-record nine under par round of 63 to take a two shot lead over American Chan Kim in Almaty. The Dane fired three eagles and four birdies in a stunning round over a course which has been earmarked by many players present this week as one of the most difficult all season.


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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1CARLSSON, JohanSWE18-18
T2OTAEGUI, AdrianESP18-11
T2STEWART, DuncanSCO18-11
T2HATTON, TyrrellENG18-11
T5WILSON, OliverENG18-10
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