Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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  • The clubhouse at Frilford Heath

Welshman Mark Laskey fired a superb 66 to lead the way following the opening round of the First Qualifying Stage Section D at Frilford Heath in England.

Laskey made seven birdies and dropped just a single shot in an impressive offering to sit one clear of Englishman Ryan Brown after the initial exchanges in Abingdon.

Brown was a further stroke ahead of six players on four under par – including leader Laskey’s compatriot and former Frilford winner Liam Bond.

It was a frantic finish for second-placed Brown, with his closing seven holes on Tuesday comprising of five birdies, two bogeys and not a single par.

Bond, who won Section D at Frilford Heath outright in 2012 and tied for first place 12 months ago, mixed six birdies with a pair of dropped shots to move into contention once again on a course he clearly revels at.

With 54 holes to come on Frilford Heath’s magnificent Red course, those of the 97 players in attendance to finish in 23rd place (plus ties) come Friday evening will progress onto Stage Two, to be held at four venues across Spain from November 7-9.

At Ribagolfe in Portugal, meanwhile, in the eighth and final First Stage event, American Peter Badawy had a flying finish, carding four birdies in his last eight holes for an excellent 67 and a share of the first round lead with Finland’s Henri Satama.

Satama only dropped a single shot en route to his 67 and, after starting at the tenth hole, made three birdies going out and further three coming home.

That leading pair were one clear of Switzerland’s Raphael De Sousa following the first 18 holes in Portugal.

With 94 players contesting at Ribagolfe, those finishing in 22nd place (plus ties) at the close of the 72 holes will progress on to Second Stage.

Those successful few following the four Second Stage contests will move on to the Final Qualifying Stage at PGA Catalunya Resort in the north-east of Spain – where the top 25 and ties at the end of a gruelling  108-hole marathon will gain a coveted card for The 2015 Race to Dubai.

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