Lloyd Kennedy believes there are huge opportunities for those who can avoid frustration at the severely weather-delayed Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI, after the Englishman carded a four under par round of 68 to move within a shot of clubhouse leader Scott Henry, with round one set to conclude on Sunday.
After a long third day with several delays and restarts, Kennedy did not let his spirits drop and a bogey-free round was his reward. Now, the 29 year old believes the fate of the trophy will be decided by whoever can keep their cool in such difficult circumstances.
“I'm over the moon with four under,” said the Challenge Tour player. “It’s quite tough out there. It’s very windy and it’s been a long day – I was up at 5:15am this morning and had five warm ups during the day.
“Hopefully I can do more of the same in the second round. I didn’t drop a shot for my whole first round which was nice. I haven’t done that for a while.
“I have never played an event like this. This is definitely a first for me. I got to the golf club here on Monday morning at 11am and I had played seven holes by 2pm on the Saturday afternoon, so it’s been a long week.
“But it’s the same for everyone. No one can do anything about the weather so you just have to take it as it comes.
“It’s a mental test, absolutely. I was on the tee, then back into the clubhouse and back and forth a couple of times. It’s tough but you’ve got to have your wits about you and if you can get your head around it there are big opportunities there.
“It’s such a big week for the Challenge Tour players this week, if you have a good week it’s a big step towards getting a European Tour card at the end of the season. Hopefully more of the same tomorrow and we’ll see where that takes me.”
Kennedy was joined on four under par by compatriot and fellow Essex native Daniel Brooks, who carded five birdies and just a single bogey as he chases a maiden European Tour victory.
“I'm really happy with that round,” said the 27 year old. “I made a few nice birdie putts at the start and then hit a couple of lovely shots coming in at the end for a couple of birdies.
“It’s alright once you get out there on the course because you’re out there competing and it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, you’re out there to do your job either way. Hopefully I can carry on the way I'm going.”
Julien Guerrier carded the next best round of the day as the Frenchman moved into a share of fifth place courtesy of a three under par 69.
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