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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Wu - I feel good from last week

Wu Ashun will take a one-shot lead into the second round of the KLM Open after firing a bogey-free 64 on day one at The Dutch.

The Chinese arrived in Spijk off the back of a top ten in Switzerland last week and continued that form with seven birdies to get to seven under.

Chris Wood was also blemish-free in carding a 65 in the morning and there was then a group of 13 players two shots off the lead on a very congested leaderboard.

Wu is a two-time winner on the European Tour but needed the Access List to keep his playing privileges last season and at 90th on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex is finding his form at just the right time.

“I made a great start with five birdies over my front nine and I followed that up with two more over my back nine - and I’m very happy to have been bogey-free today,” he said.

“I was very good on the par threes today. I hit a nine iron on the 14th to about four feet and then on the par three 16th, although I missed the green, I managed to chip in for birdie.

“I feel very good from last week and I am gaining even more confidence this week.”

Englishman Wood is searching for European Tour win number four having last won at the 2016 BMW PGA Championship and has finished second twice this season at the NBO Oman Open and the Rolex Series HNA Open de France.

Renato Paratore made the first big move of the day, making five birdies in his first seven holes to open up a two-shot lead over Wood who birdied the 13th, 14th and 15th playing in the group behind.

While Paratore finished with 11 straight pars, Wood birdied the third and when he hit an excellent approach into the seventh, the Italian at last had some company.

Wood then left himself five feet for a closing bogey on the ninth to hit the front on his own and while he was briefly joined by Benjamin Hebert, the Frenchman bogeyed his last hole.

When the afternoon players got under way, Wu was the man on the charge, with a five foot putt on the last adding to birdies on the 12th, 13th, 14th and 16th to get him within one.

England's Eddie Pepperell was the first man to catch Wood, however, adding to birdies on the first, second and sixth with a monster putt on the tenth and brilliant approaches to the 11th and 12th.

Jeunghun Wang eagled the sixth to get to six under and when Wu made another birdie on the fourth, there was a four-way tie at the top.

But South Korean Wang finished his round with two dropped shots and Pepperell bogeyed the 15th, leaving Wood as the only man in second when Wu rolled in a 16-footer on the eighth.

Ashley Chesters changed that with an eagle at the sixth and when the Englishman birdied the seventh he briefly shared the lead before finishing with two bogeys.

Italians Nino Bertasio and Andrea Pavan, Englishmen Aaron Rai, Jordan Smith and Matthew Southgate, Dane Søren Kjeldsen, Scot Bradley Neil, Australian Jason Scrivener and American Kevin Stadler were alongside Chesters, Hebert, Paratore and Pepperell at five under.

Wang slipped back to four under, one shot clear of Ryder Cup Vice Captains Padraig Harrington and Lee Westwood, with 63 players within five shots of the lead.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WU, AshunCHN18-16
2WOOD, ChrisENG18-15
T3DETRY, ThomasBEL18-14
T3TANIHARA, HidetoJPN18-14
5HARRINGTON, PadraigIRL18-13
T6PEPPERELL, EddieENG18-12

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