Wednesday, 17 August 2016
Sam Walker (photo by Rolex/Phil Shephard-Lewis)  (European Tour)
Sam Walker (photo by Rolex/Phil Shephard-Lewis) (European Tour)

Sam Walker continued the fine streak of form that took him to victory last week by shooting a ten under par 62 in the opening round of the Rolex Trophy and lead by four shots in Geneva.

The Englishman only secured his place at Golf Club de Genève by winning the Vierumӓki Finnish Challenge but showed little sign of a whirlwind few days as he made ten birdies to top the leaderboard once again.

The 38 year old made five birdies in a row at one stage on the back nine, missing further chances on the final three holes, but he was understandably delighted by the start he made to the tournament.

“It does seem like an easy game right now!” he said. “But no, I played good, I hit everything really good today. I only hit one bad drive, which was on nine, but then I holed a really long putt across the green which got my momentum going.

“I was building confidence all the way round because I was hitting shot after shot well, holing putts, and then I misread a putt on 16, was unlucky on 17, and then hit a good shot into 18 but it just ran on a bit too far, but you can’t complain about ten under around here.

“The last few days have been quite tiring. I’ve been running around, a lot of people phoning, and that’s fine. I got upgraded in my hotel room by Rolex, which is fantastic, but it’s been so manic since Finland that I just took it easy yesterday, only played nine holes, went to bed early.

“I didn’t actually feel that good when I woke up this morning either, but I just thought I’d go and play and see what happens, there’s no cut, no pressure. And I just played great, and could have been even better than ten under.

“I’ve played here a lot of times, and there’s been a lot of changes to the course which are great, which they’ve been going on about for years and years but it’s now finally happened, which has made a big difference.

“It’s made it a lot better golf course but a lot more enjoyable as well, because the greens are fantastic and there’s a lot of birdies you can make our there.

“It’s unexpected to be here, but it’s been great. It’s always great to come back here, and I’ve got some old friends that live here who come and support me, which is great – normally I’d be having a drink with them too, but I’ve stopped drinking, but I’ll mingle with them, and I’ve really enjoyed the week so far.”

The closest rivals to Walker on day one in Switzerland were Pep Angles and Romain Langasque, both of whom opened with six under par rounds of 66.

Frenchman Langasque was runner-up to Walker in Finland – a result that took him to the top of the Road to Oman Rankings – and a bogey-free round justified the 21 year old’s top billing.

Langasque’s playing partner Joel Girrbach, leading the Swiss charge this week, made three birdies on his front nine but ultimately had to settle for a one under par 71 to lie tied 19th.

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