Tano Goya revealed the outstanding performances of his Argentine compatriots this season on The European Tour inspired him to produce a seven under par opening round of 65 at the Moravia Silesia Open presented by ALO Diamonds.
Four winners have come from the South American country already this season, the biggest being Angel Cabrera at the Masters Tournament and the most recent being Ricardo Gonzalez at the SAS Masters in Sweden on Sunday.
“I was with him [Gonzalez] last week and he played really well,” said Goya, who established a one shot lead after the first round. “When some of you compatriots win it motivates you a little more but last week I also played well myself and started to hit some good shots.”
Goya, whose first victory on the circuit came at the Madeira Islands Open BPI - Portugal in March, covered the back nine first in just 30 strokes.
And it was Goya’s accurate approach play which was the key to his round, as he landed on 17 greens in regulation.
“I'm very happy. I played really good,” he said. “When you play well and have a good round you are relieved in the first round. It is important to start on the right foot.
“I was always on the green for a birdie chance. I also putted well, that helped me do that round. If you aren't on the greens here with the slopes it is difficult to make and up and down. The key was hitting the greens.”
After birdies at the tenth and 14th he eagled the 553 yard 16th from five feet after a brilliant three wood approach at the Prosper Resort in Celadna and followed that with two more birdies.
The 21 year old, like Cabrera from Cordoba, bogeyed the second, but then picked up more strokes on the fourth and eighth to take a one shot lead over English pair John Bickerton and Steve Webster.
“It's been a while since I've played decently so it was nice to put a good round together,” said Bickerton. “I shot 66 at the French Open recently but not as comfortably as today. Fingers crossed it will continue.”
Webster, currently 47th on The Race to Dubai, added: “I played lovely. I didn't try too hard and got the putter working nicely and gave myself a few chances and made some nice birdies.”
France’s François Delamontagne, Robert-Jan Derksen of The Netherlands and Spaniard Ignacio Garrido all signed for rounds of 67 to lead the chasing pack on five under.
Course designer Miguel Angel Jiménez posted a one under 71.
The Spaniard made only one birdie all day at the fourth - his 13th - and made two good par saves on the tenth and the second, chipping in from the rough for the latter.
“I missed a few shots in the last few holes,” said The Ryder Cup star. “I missed a birdie at the sixth and seventh, eighth and ninth so the last four holes. Anything under par is good. If I could have birdied a few more it would have been better.”