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Thursday, 31 October 2013
Lloyd Kennedy   (Getty Images)
Lloyd Kennedy (Getty Images)
Lloyd Kennedy bounced back from the disappointment of having to withdraw from last week’s penultimate event of the season to fire a fine opening round of 68 in the first round of the Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club.

The Englishman was forced to pull out of the National Bank of Oman Golf Classic a week ago due to illness, a disappointment made all the more crushing given he needed a big finish to the season to be in with a chance of claiming one of the 15 European Tour cards on offer.

However, the man who currently resides 38th on the Challenge Tour Rankings put his troubles behind him on Thursday en route to a fine four under par score.

“I got off to a slow start and was a couple over after five after a couple of sloppy bogeys,” said the Londoner. “Then I got on a bit of a run, holed a few nice putts on the spin and played solid coming in. I didn’t really make many errors and I’m over the moon with four under.

“I wasn’t expecting too much starting the day, as I was still feeling a bit under the weather, so I’m just pleased to get out there again and get some momentum going.

“You get to this week and everyone has something to play for, even the guy who scrapes in at 45th place, so if you win this week then it is job done. The guys at 11th, 12th, 13th place are going to be looking over their shoulder and everyone else needs to have a big week, so we’ll see what happens as it was a nice start today and I’m pleased to get it back under par.”

No surprise that Kennedy is pleased with his performance, and he will start the second day just a couple of shots off the lead held by Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge winner Brinson Paolini and current Rankings Number One Andrea Pavan who both lead on six under par.

That will be a strong position heading into the final 54 holes, and after the trials of the past week Kennedy is just pleased to be feeling better and back focussing on his golf.

“Last week I just had nothing left, felt like I had no energy, felt shaky, dizzy and in forty degrees it was not ideal to have the flu,” explained the 28 year old. “It’s just one of those things, as I was always playing these three weeks to finish, and luckily I have been in quite good health this year so that was the first time I’ve not been feeling 100 per cent. But the heat and everything last week, I was done.

“I hope there’s more good play ahead though, I played nice and steady today, which is like I have been most of the year. It was only last week really where it was horrendous, so we’ll see. Hopefully I will feel a bit better tomorrow and we’ll take it from there.

“I’ve got nothing to lose this week, it is all or nothing really, so if I can put myself in a good spot come Sunday then we’ll take it from there and see how we go.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KAPUR, ShivIND18-16
T2MCLEARY, JamieSCO18-12
T2LIMA, José-FilipePOR18-12
T4DAVIES, RhysWAL18-11
T4PAVAN, AndreaITA18-11
T6DUBOIS, EdouardFRA18-10
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