Friday, 19 March 2010

Danish Ryder Cup player Søren Hansen broke the PGA Golf Catalunya course record with a nine under par 63 in the Open de España - despite starting with a double bogey.

An hour after Frenchman Thomas Levet had equalled the old mark set by England's Peter Baker nine years ago, Hansen completed one of the most remarkable rounds of his career.

"It was unbelievable," he said. "I hit an awful opening drive and it looked like a miserable day, but I came back with some great golf."

The 25 year old from Copenhagen, part of Nick Faldo's side in Louisville last September, came back from his opening six with birdies on the next two holes, then finished the outward half with three more to turn in 33.

After that came one of only two eagles all day at the 527 yard 12th, another hat-trick of birdies from the 14th and one more on the 449 yard last despite driving into a fairway bunker.

“It’s a great honour to beat the course record in a course like PGA Golf Catalunya, I’m impressed with the course, is a great test of golf, is a course where if you don’t get it right you can do badly,” he added.

Levet is alone in second, one ahead of Spaniard José Manuel Lara and also Callum Macaulay, looking more and more like the next big thing in the Scottish game.

Five years ago Levet played in a winning The Ryder Cup side in America, but after that had a nightmare time battling vertigo. He spent months out of the game and feared for his future.

"You always think about not coming back, but what kept me going was that I was always improving," said the 40 year old.

"I never got desperate to the point where I thought I was done. The doctor said it was curable in six months to a year and for me it was seven months."

He won last year's Andalucian Open in Marbella and added: "Now everything is behind me and I don't think about it anymore."

His score was based on his playing of the par fives. Levet was on the green in two at all four, birdied the third and at the 542 yard seventh sank an eight foot eagle putt.

Last season Macaulay won his amateur national title - as Colin Montgomerie did back in 1987 - and then starred for Scotland in their astonishing nine stroke victory at the World Amateur Team Championship.

The 25 year old from Falkirk was second leading individual there behind American Rickie Fowler and then came through a 252 hole marathon to earn his The European Tour card.

That finished on the same course where this week's event is taking place and Macaulay showed his liking for it again with eight birdies.

Not that it was the first time on the circuit he has had such a haul. In Madeira six weeks ago he took second place after eight in the last nine holes - including all the last six.

"I am loving it. There's nowhere else I'd rather be," said Macaulay, whose father Harry is his caddie.

"Madeira gave me a lot of confidence. I'd had a mental block before - I was getting to three under, but couldn't get to four - and I'm delighted with the way everything is going.

"My putter got hot and I suppose it's a minor advantage coming back to a course I already liked."


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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LEVET, ThomasFRA18-18
2ZANOTTI, FabrizioPAR18-16
T3LAWRIE, PeterIRL18-14
T3BJÖRN, ThomasDEN18-14
T6SIEM, MarcelGER18-9
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