Friday, 19 March 2010

(Reuters) - The name Ballesteros graced the top of the leaderboard for a long time on day one of the Andalucia Open de España Valle Romano at San Roque Club. But it was not Severiano Ballesteros but the five-time major champion’s 25 year old nephew Raul.

Raul, son of the oldest of the Ballesteros golf professional brothers Baldomero, raced four strokes ahead of the first round field over a course partly designed by Seve, only to drop three shots at the last two holes and end on six under par 66. 

Raul, playing on an invitation from tournament promoters Amen Corner, trailed the two early leaders, Portugal’s José-Filipe Lima and England’s Graeme Storm, by a shot.

“I’ve never been nine under for 16 holes before. It’s not my best score. I have had a couple of 61s at my home course in small events, but it is my best result on The European Tour,” said Raul.

The Spaniard is trying to gain a European Tour card, which he has never held, from seven invitations this year but missed the cut in the Madeira Island Open Caixa Geral de Depositos and came 71st out of the 76 finishers in the Algarve Open de Portugal Caixa Geral de Depositos.

Lima and Storm are playing on the back of good results in last week’s BMW Asian Open in China. Lima tied third and 1999 British Amateur Champion Storm was 13th. Both carded course record 65s over San Roque’s New Course to lead by one from Ballesteros, Titch Moore, Juan Parron and Miles Tunnicliff, before the afternoon starters went out.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1FASTH, NiclasSWE18-18
T3BJÖRN, ThomasDEN18-17
T3ARCHER, PhillipENG18-17
T3ELIASSON, MattiasSWE18-17
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