Thursday, 13 May 2010
James Kingston  (Getty Images)
James Kingston (Getty Images)
South African James Kingston capitalised on the best of the conditions to take the first round lead in Mallorca.

Out on the Pula course early before the wind really picked up, the 44 year old returned a five under par 65 at the Iberdrola Open Cala Millor Mallorca which proved too strong for the later starters.

Kingston ended the day two in front of Spaniard Alvaro Velasco, with Ireland's Gary Murphy, Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin, Spain's Alejandro Cañizares and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen one further back.

"I didn't have a nice day out there yesterday and it's not one of my favourites," said two-time European Tour winner Kingston. "But I was hitting it so well that it was actually an easy round of 65.

"It's tricky even without a wind, but when you play nicely you can see the scores."

Kingston, who birdied three of his last six holes as things became more blustery, is only recently back from a seven-week break during which he visited Zambia and Mozambique with friends and family.

Velasco lost his European Tour card last season and did not make the 72-hole cut at The European Tour Qualifying School in November.

His ranking on the Spanish Order of Merit earned him his place in the tournament and he came home in 32 with birdies at the first, fourth and sixth.

"It was a good round," said the Barcelona resident, who turns 29 on Saturday. "I played very well, particularly the back nine.

"I was playing really well two years ago, and then I spent a couple of years struggling with my game and my scores, trying to put things together.

"This year I started to play much better, more consistently - still with no results but the game is there and they will come. I've learned a lot from last year, and my game is back."

Murphy was another back at the Qualifying School last November and although the 37 year old from Kilkenny made it through he has since managed to survive only two cuts in ten starts.

"I've been struggling with the groove change," he said. "I'm on my fifth set of irons, but have finally got some I feel are doing what they should do."

He was four under after seven, gave all the shots back, but then birdied the seventh and eighth to climb back into a tie for third.

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
T1CAÑIZARES, AlejandroESP18-6
T1HANSON, PeterSWE18-6
3KINGSTON, JamesRSA18-2
4CÉVAËR, ChristianFRA18-1
T5WOOD, ChrisENG18Par
T5HEND, ScottAUS18Par
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