Thursday, 05 May 2011
Scott Jamieson   (Getty Images)
Scott Jamieson (Getty Images)

Scotland's Scott Jamieson, playing just the 11th European Tour event of his career, tops the leaderboard after the first round of the Open de España in Barcelona.

The 27 year old Challenge Tour graduate shot a six under par 66 at El Prat to end day one ahead of England's Steve Webster, Indian Jeev Milkha Singh, France's Romain Wattel and Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal.

Already with three top-11 finishes in his rookie season, Jamieson grabbed eight birdies and would have been clear out in front but for bogeys at the 14th and fourth.

He is a former student at Augusta State and dreams of returning there one day to play in The Masters Tournament.

"We were allowed to play the course once a year and that was thrilling," he said.

"I didn't get a wink of sleep the night before the first time I played. In my first three rounds I shot 80 - same as Rory McIlroy last month, of course - and on my fourth I finally had a respectable 74.

"Not to make excuses, we always played in the winter when it was cold and wet.

"You look at the first hole and during The Masters those guys are hitting nine iron and wedge into the green, but my shortest second shot was a four iron.

"It's a really special place."

Webster, 36, has still to make it to The Masters Tournament 16 years after beating Tiger Woods to the top amateur prize in The Open Championship at St Andrews.

Twice a winner in nearly 400 Tour events, the Warwickshire golfer had seven birdies and two bogeys.

Former Open de France champion Larrazábal is playing on his home course and said: "I was ready to play in front of my people and have been dreaming of this round for a long time - since October when we knew the tournament was here.

"I know everything about this course. I know where to hit, where to miss and when to attack."

His brother Alex, British Amateur Champion eight years ago, is now the caddie for Jose Maria Olazábal, but the double Masters Tournament winner had to settle for a level par 72.

Colin Montgomerie, Olazábal’s predecessor as Ryder Cup Captain and without a top-ten finish for almost three years, was three under with three to play, but had a double bogey six on the 470 yard 16th after hitting his second into the middle of the lake right of the green.

The 47 year old came back with a birdie, though, and handed in a 70.

That was better than tournament favourites Miguel Angel Jiménez, Matteo Manassero and defending champion Alvaro Quiros.

Jiménez, runner-up to Lee Westwood in Korea on Sunday, had a 71, 18 year old Manassero 73 on his return three weeks after his second European Tour win in Malaysia and Quiros a 74.

After his round Jamieson said: "I didn't feel under complete control, which is not the nicest feeling in the world, but the only real blip was on the fourth.

"I thought I was out of bounds and my provisional was in a bunker, but the ball was about a yard in. I bogeyed, but it looked like it might have been a seven."

After travelling around Asia in a vain search for his first top-ten finish of the year Webster commented: "It's nice to be only a couple of hours from home rather than 20. I drove the ball great and putted really nicely, which makes the difference."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1AIKEN, ThomasRSA18-10
2HANSEN, AndersDEN18-8
T5DYSON, SimonENG18-6

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