Thursday, 07 June 2018
Søren Kjeldsen  (Getty Images)
Søren Kjeldsen (Getty Images)

Søren Kjeldsen was among the early pace-setters as the groundbreaking Shot Clock Masters got under way at Diamond Country Club.

The innovative new-format is a 72-hole stroke play event but with a twist, every player is on the clock for every shot.

The players have a 50-second allowance for a first to play approach shot (including a par three tee-shot), chip or putt and a 40-second allowance for a tee-shot on a par four or par five, or second or third to play approach shot, chip or putt.

Failure to make your shot in the allotted time leads to a one-shot penalty on the hole in question but players are allowed two 40-second time-extensions in any one round.

No time penalties at all had to be recorded in the early stages on Thursday but England's Ryan Evans did use one of his extensions on the seventh, while American Chase Koepka hit one of his shots just as the clock hit zero.

There was no such drama for Dane Kjeldsen, who made three birdies in his first nine holes to share the lead at three under with Scot Bradley Neil and Finn Tapio Pulkkanen.

There was then a large group of players at two under including 2016 champion Wu Ashun.

Kjeldsen – a four-time European Tour winner – made birdies on the 14th, 15th and 18th after starting on the tenth.

Neil had birdies on the first, second and fourth in his first eight, while 2017 Challenge Tour winner Pulkkanen made gains on the first, third and fourth.

Chinese Wu birdied the tenth and 16th and, after giving a shot back on the 17th, he made another gain on the first in his first ten holes.

England's Mark Foster, Argentina's Estanislao Goya, Dane Anders Hansen, German Sebastian Heisele, Swedes Oscar Lengden and Mikael Lundberg, Norwegian amateur Kristoffer Reitan, Scot Connor Syme and Chilean Mark Tullo were also a shot off the lead.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KORHONEN, MikkoFIN18-16
2SYME, ConnorSCO18-10
T3WALTERS, JustinRSA18-9

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