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Thursday, 10 May 2018
Andy Sullivan  (Getty Images)
Andy Sullivan (Getty Images)

Andy Sullivan was delighted to be at the right end of the leaderboard once again as he continued his good form on day one of the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open.

The Englishman claimed all three of his European Tour wins in 2015 and followed that season up with a 14th-placed finish in the 2016 Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and a place in the Ryder Cup Team.

He missed just five cuts in 2017 but was not at his best in finishing 62nd in the Rankings, although he has shown encouraging signs that a win may not be far away this term.

The 30 year old has made all eight of his cuts with two top tens and, after firing an opening 67 at Verdura Golf Club, he was confident there was more to come.

"I just continued on my form really, I felt really confident in my game," he said. "I'm not hitting masses of balls because it's been quite windy, so I felt pretty confident around the greens and I've been putting in a lot of work on them, and I just played really solid out there.

"I feel like I've made a lot of birdies this year, but I didn't feel like I've got them in the bag to pull me out of trouble. My game is feeling in great shape and I'm going out there and making a lot of birdies at the moment so good start, bad start, I feel like I can turn it around and get off to a flier either way.

"There's nothing better. It's been long overdue for me, really, I feel like I've not hit the heights of 2015/16 so I think it's time for me to really push on and try to get myself back on the right side of the leaderboard, get in the mix and enjoy the weekends more."

Another man to fire a 67 was Scott Fernandez as the Spaniard adapts to life on the European Tour after finishing 14th on last season's Challenge Tour.

The 25 year old has made just four of 11 cuts but is philosophical about his start and is happy to be learning and improving with every round.

"It's really good fun on the European Tour," he said. "I'm just enjoying it, learning a lot every week and just feeling more comfortable by the minute. I've just got to keep up the good work. Like all transitions, you need to adjust and it takes time but a good attitude and working hard is a good path to be on.

"I'm very happy about today. I got off to a steady start and then I just got warmed up and got going into the round. I felt comfortable with the wind, keeping it low, and I was striking it really well and following it up with the putter. A couple of long putts dropped in, which push you along in these conditions, and that helps a lot."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LAGERGREN, JoakimSWE18-16
2LORENZO-VERA, MikeFRA18-16
T3HERBERT, LucasAUS18-15
T3SULLIVAN, AndyENG18-15
5BJERREGAARD, LucasDEN18-14
6GUERRIER, JulienFRA18-13

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