Friday, 15 August 2014
Bradley Dredge   (Getty Images)
Bradley Dredge (Getty Images)

Bradley Dredge kept his cool to shoot a three-under-par 68 and take command of the inaugural Made in Denmark.

Dredge, Thomas Björn and Felipe Aguilar played in a manner that belied blustery conditions at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort to shoot fine 66s on the opening day.

Yet only the Welshman was able to follow that up on a truncated day featuring a one-hour delay due to the threat of lightning, his effort ensuring he took the outright lead ahead of what promises to be a thrilling weekend.

“I’m delighted with the way I played,” said Dredge. “There were some chances out there. The wind wasn’t quite as strong and in a slightly different direction, and luckily I managed to make some putts. The chip in on 16 was nice and I think I took the chances when I had them.”

By contrast, Björn and Aguilar struggled to get anything going, the former hitting 73 and the latter 74.

There is still plenty of optimism among the home support, however, with Björn and Thorbjørn Olesen five shots adrift of Dredge.

They may have a job on their hands if the two-time victor on The European Tour shows similar resilience over the weekend.

Having parred the opening three holes, he endured a bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie run before dropping another on the turn.

But a four on the par five 13th ignited his round, and further birdies on 15, 16 and 18 ensured Dredge, who is not getting carried away with his form, finished in style.

“If someone had said I’ll give you a four shot lead after 36 holes you would take it,” said Dredge. “We’re halfway through the tournament and I’ve been in similar positions to this before.

"I know a lot can happen and I’ve got to play really well over the weekend. There are some really good players chasing me so I have to keep playing the way I have been and convert the chances I get.”

He was, therefore, four strokes ahead of Simon Wakefield – who earlier made full use of scoreable conditions.

With the weather much calmer than Thursday, when he struck 71, Wakefield produced a fine round of 67.

Having begun on ten, he parred the opening five holes before catching fire to birdie the 15th, 16th and 17th.

A dropped stroke on 18 ruined that run, yet the Englishman picked up strokes at four and eight.

He said: "I actually felt I played pretty well. I was here in 1999 and finished ninth in a Challenge Tour event, but I don’t remember the course at all. I remember staying on site in a house, but I don’t remember anything of the course. 

"So arriving on Tuesday, I was excited to play the course but we didn’t get chance to play. The first time to see the course yesterday was nice and I played lovely today."

Precocious 24 year old Olesen, who did not drop a shot in Thursday's 69, endured an up and down round as four gains came amid a bogey and a disappointing double at 13.

But the manner in which he ground out a 70 bodes well for the weekend.

"It was a bit easier today and I was not on top of my game," admitted Olesen. "I put myself in some awkward positions off the tee and I didn’t have decent control. 

"I made it tricky for myself. It’s scoreable out there so I’ll probably have some catching up to do. I had hoped to shoot a few under today but I didn’t quite play well enough. I was fighting all the time."

Olesen, though, can at least take solace in knowing he will be roared on by vociferous home support.

"The crowds have been great," he added. "It’s like playing a major championship out there. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s incredible and it really gave me a big boost out there. I just tried to keep going for them. 

"I was grinding it out today and I managed to get it under par. It was a great feeling being in front of this crowd. It’s good fun. I can’t imagine what it is going to be like over the weekend."

Björn, who managed just one birdie amid three bogeys, said: “It was just not quite there. My wedges were poor, which is unlike me, and I didn’t really take advantage of those short holes. One birdie all day isn’t really going to do it as you are going to make some birdies in these conditions.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WARREN, MarcSCO18-9
2DREDGE, BradleyWAL18-7
3ARCHER, PhillipENG18-4
T4BJÖRN, ThomasDEN18-3
T4FISHER, OliverENG18-3
T4PEPPERELL, EddieENG18-3

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